Junior Achievement of Southern Colorado announced earlier this month that it is close to completing a nearly $4 million capital campaign that will allow the organization to build its JA Center for Free Enterprise in Old Colorado City.
The Colorado Springs-based nonprofit has raised $3.6 million — with $200,000 left to go — toward the complex, which will house programs such as JA BizTown and JA Finance Park, according to President and CEO Carrie McKee.
The Colorado Springs-based El Pomar Foundation also has awarded the organization with a $200,000 Challenge Grant “in support of naming the Center for Free Enterprise after Karl Flemke, a former Junior Achievement USA President who helped to bring Junior Achievement’s national headquarters to Colorado Springs and served as a greatly respected community leader for numerous organization in the Pikes Peak region,” according to McKee.
McKee said that, when complete, the JA Center for Free Enterprise will house a simulated city that will host its BizTown and Finance Park Programs. BizTown is a program in which 5th-grade students will emulate the roles of adults in the community, while the Finance Park is a program in which 8th-grade students will be put in “a real-life scenario involving a job, salary, and family situation students make and revise decisions to end the day with a balanced budget,” according to McKee.
Both programs will have access to state-of-the-art technology due to a $100,000 grant from Hewlett Packard Enterprise and the HPE Colorado Springs Site Council.
“This provision of technology is the single largest HPE grant of its kind to any JA in the country,” according to McKee.