Junior Achievement of North Florida announces $800,000 from MacKenzie Scott

The organization said the philanthropist’s gift will be used for financial literacy and work readiness.

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Junior Achievement of North Florida announced Aug. 16 it received $800,000 from MacKenzie Scott as part of the philanthropist’s $38.8 million donated to Junior Achievement USA and JA operations in 26 communities across the country. 

A news release said it is the largest gift from a single donor in the organization’s 103-year history.

“We greatly appreciate the incredible generosity of MacKenzie Scott for this amazing gift to our organization,” said Shannon Italia, president of Junior Achievement of North Florida, in the release

“We see this investment as a recognition of all the great work taking place in our community because of the passion and commitment of the business leaders, educators, volunteers, and other partners who support Junior Achievement locally.”

Junior Achievement of North Florida said it will use its portion of the gift “to scale its impact in the region and accelerate the timeline for launching an integrated program model that provides young people with a pathway to work readiness and financial literacy.”

The release said that since 1963, Junior Achievement of North Florida has been delivering learning experiences that help young people reach their potential. 

In December 2020, three Jacksonville nonprofits received a portion of nearly $4.2 billion given to 384 organizations in the U.S. by Scott, former wife of Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos.

United Way of Northeast Florida received $20 million and Goodwill Industries of North Florida received $10 million. The First Coast YMCA also received a grant from Scott but declines to disclose the amount.

Early this year, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida received a $6.8 million grant.