Historical partnership to bring a finance park to the Eastern Shore

SALISBURY, Md. – Big news for the Eastern shore, Junior Achievement made an announcement that they received a combined $2.5 million donation for their finance park, a project that’s been in the works for over five years. “It’s an easy sell, I don’t really have to do much everybody knows the importance of this facility and the impact it will have,” says Jayme Hayes, President of Junior Achievement on the Eastern Shore.

We’re told the finance park will be a place to help students learn and succeed when it comes to financial literacy. “It was always my dream to kind of put the flag in the ground on the Eastern Shore, we deserve it just as much as any of the big cities across the bridge and its our time,” says Hayes.

The Franklin P. and Arthur W. Perdue Foundation along with The Richard A. Henson Foundation teamed up to each donate 1.25 million dollars. It’s a project both organizations say, they’ve been passionate about for years. “I just know how important it is to get these kids some financial literacy that they might not otherwise have access to and this is going to make a tremendous difference not only today and tomorrow but for generations to come,” says Kim Nechay, Executive Director at the Perdue Foundation. She adds, “Getting to have an opportunity to invest in that and bring their names to this project, it was just a no brainer we definitely wanted to be a part of the leadership of this.”

The center will be named after them, the Perdue Henson Junior Achievement Center. Officials tell us, the center will be woven into Eastern Shore school’s curriculum to give students hands on experiences; learning about things like taxes, W2s, career exploration and even understanding salaries. “I think the center is going to spark that inspiration in our youth so I’m so excited to be a part of it, really,” says Stacey McMichael, Executive Director at the Henson Foundation.

McMichael also tells us, the educational background and planning put into this project is commendable. She tells us, the long history between Henson and Junior Achievement is really what set the tone for the partnership, and she’s excited to see kids get a chance to put more ‘tool’ in their tool box. “They’re going to experience that, and they’re going to have to start thinking about what they want and their priorities are going to be.”

Meanwhile, McMichael’s colleague Thomas Evans, a Vice Chairmen at the Henson Foundation shares the long history between this partnership. Evans tells 47 ABC, the founder was keen on giving students a chance to learn the important of financial literacy. He says these students are our future business owners, and community members who contribute to the economy. He says place like the Perdue Henson Junior Achievement Center will give students a chance to do just that. “I hope that the Frank Perdue example, and a Dick Henson example inspire our future Dick Hensons and Frank Perdues going forward,” says Evans. He says some of the most elements this project brings is, “Respect, and hard, work so it’s all going to be hands on here in this center so couldn’t be better.”

Hayes tells 47 ABC even though they still have some fundraising to do, the plans are set and they’re ready to start changing kids lives. Hayes also says, this is a $5.5 million project, but they’re already half way there.

We’re told the Perdue Henson Junior Achievement Center will open as early as Spring or Fall of 2023. Upon opening, Junior Achievement will be doubling their staff and looking for volunteers to help.

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Categories: Education, Local News, Maryland