There was a symbolic groundbreaking ceremony on July 25 for Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest’s (JAUM) new home in the Midway. The event included a preview of plans for the building and recognition of lead gift donors.
Spurred by a lead gift of $4 million from Jim and Patricia Hemak, the organization is halfway to its $20 million fundraising goal for the Let’s Build campaign.
JAUM purchased the building at 1745 University Ave W., which will be redesigned and refurbished to meet its specific needs. The building—named the Junior Achievement James R. and Patricia Hemak Experiential Learning Center—will house three premier learning labs: JAUM’s existing JA BizTown and JA Finance Park programs and the first-of-its-kind JA Innovation Incubator.
Photo left: The new location for the Junior Achievement James R. and Patricia Hemak Experiential Learning Center was celebrated at a ceremonial groundbreaking by (l to r) lead gift donors Jim and Pat Hemak, Gina Blayney (JAUM President & CEO), St. Paul Council President Russ Stark and St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman. (Photo provided)
The Let’s Build capital campaign will allow JAUM to double the number of students served in its experiential learning labs from 17,000 to 34,000. The campaign will also grow the Junior Achievement Foundation of the Upper Midwest, providing the organization with funding to meet new demands for program expansion, operating needs, technology upgrades and the ability to continue providing programs to local schools at little or no cost. Currently, JAUM is based in Maplewood.
Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest has been serving students in Minnesota, North Dakota and western Wisconsin since 1949. During the 2016-17 school year, JAUM reached more than 163,000 students in grades K-12 with financial literacy, college and career readiness, and entrepreneurship education. JAUM programs are implemented by nearly 10,000 volunteers, mostly business professionals, who share their skills and experience to motivate and inspire students to succeed.