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Junior Achievement awarded $40,000 Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation grant

Grant furthers career readiness programs for Southwest Florida students

FORT MYERS, Fla. (Nov. 2, 2023) – Southwest Florida’s middle and high school students will be better prepared to transition into the working world thanks to the work of Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida (JA) and a $40,000 Workforce Development grant the organization received from the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation. The foundation has generously supported the efforts of JA with annual grants for seven consecutive years.

“Thanks to the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation, we will provide over 18,000 students in Charlotte, Collier and Lee counties with the knowledge and skills needed to develop as the next generation of business leaders,” said Angela Fisher, president and CEO of Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida. “Mentoring and real-world experience offered through JA programs give the students a head start and help to ensure their growth and success.”

JA offers both public and private school students the opportunity to network with local business mentors who guide lessons and inspire young people by sharing their experiences and serving as role models who stress the importance of education and life skills. JA also works with after-school programs and special at-risk groups. The grant will help fund key JA programs focused on workplace readiness including JA Inspire (SWFL’s largest career expo), Career Connect, Career Success, and JA Career Exploration Fair.

Preparing young students helps them transition into adulthood with proven lessons that promote financial literacy and capability, work and career readiness, and entrepreneurship. Alumni have a track record of earning college degrees, have confidence in managing money, and achieve career success. Many have gone on to start their own businesses!

“We are proud to partner with an amazing organization like Junior Achievement,” said Mary Beth Geier, Florida Director of the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation. “The work they do prepares the next generation and will impact the Southwest Florida region for years to come. We couldn’t be more proud to support them in their mission to inspire and prepare young people to succeed.” 

About the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation

The Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation was created in 2004 by Best Buy founder, Dick Schulze, to give back to the communities where Dick and his family grew up – in Minnesota, where he built Best Buy to become the world’s largest consumer electronics retailer, and in Florida, where he now maintains a permanent residence. The Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation creates grant partnerships with organizations that generate transformational results in human and social services, education, and health and medicine.

About Junior Achievement USA®

Junior Achievement is the world’s largest organization dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their future, and make smart academic and economic choices. JA learning experiences are delivered by corporate and community volunteers and provide relevant, hands-on experiences that give students from kindergarten through high school knowledge and skills in financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship. Additionally, Junior Achievement is expanding its reach to 18-to-25-year-olds to provide young adults with critical life skills, as well as to pre-K youth to ensure children get a solid head start. Today, JA reaches more than 4.4 million students per year in 102 markets across the United States as part of 12.5 million students served by operations in more than 100 other countries worldwide. Junior Achievement USA is a member of JA Worldwide. For more information, visit

Locally, Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida partnered with classroom business volunteers during the 2022-2023 school year to provide nearly 160,700 hours of instruction to nearly 12,260 students throughout Charlotte, Collier, and Lee counties. For more information on Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida, visit, call 239-225-2590 or email [email protected].

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