Junior Achievement receives $175,000 grant

People’s United Community Foundation, the charitable arm of People’s United Bank, N.A., announced it has awarded a $175,000 grant to Junior Achievement USA to promote financial literacy and career readiness amongst students in six states that align with their footprint, including: Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. The award is part of People’s United’s celebration of their 175th anniversary and is the Foundation’s largest single one-time gift since established in 2007.

The beneficiaries of this grant include: Junior Achievement of Western Connecticut in Bridgeport, Junior Achievement of Southwest New England, Junior Achievement of Southwest Connecticut, Junior Achievement of New York, Junior Achievement of Maine, Junior Achievement of Northern New England, and Junior Achievement of Western Massachusetts. As part of their support, People’s United Bank employees will also volunteer their time, delivering financial literacy programs in elementary schools that coincide with the programs the grant will fund.

“Most of us face financial decisions on a daily basis, but very few Americans receive financial literacy education while in school,” said Bernadine Venditto, President of JA of Western CT. “Given the global nature of our economy, it’s important that today’s young people are better equipped to make important financial decisions for tomorrow. People’s United Community Foundation is helping us do that with its considerable support.”

According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), in 2017 U.S. teens rank 7th in the world when it comes to understanding financial concepts, lagging behind teens in countries such as China, Belgium and Canada. U.S. teens have demonstrated little progress in mastering financial concepts since the OECD did its first assessment on financial literacy in 2012.

“We could not think of a more influential organization to support as part of our 175th anniversary celebration as Junior Achievement USA,” said Jack Barnes, President and CEO, People’s United Bank. “Their programs help prepare today’s youth by laying the foundation for a bright professional and financial future through skills they might otherwise not have exposure to. Throughout our 175 year history community involvement has been at the core of our culture and we look forward to continuing our partnership with Junior Achievement.”

In 2016, Junior Achievement of Western CT inducted Jack Barnes into the Dr. George R. Dunbar Free Enterprise Hall of Fame. JA’s The Hall of Fame recognizes local business leaders who have made notable contributions in the area of private enterprise and who have also demonstrated exceptional dedication to their communities.

Prior to this grant, People’s United Community Foundation has awarded a total of $175,000 in grants to Junior Achievement affiliates throughout its footprint since 2007. People’s United Bank employees have also volunteered countless hours focusing on local elementary, middle and high school education programs.