2020-2021 Annual Report

Dear Friends:

This past year has been one of rebuilding, unexpected challenges, and renewing our commitment to being an innovative, economic education solution provider. As our students get back to the classroom, they need the hope and inspiration that Junior Achievement learning experiences provide. More than ever, our local economy needs young people with skills, competencies, and motivation that JA values instill in them.

Our future is brighter than it has ever been. JA thrives through civic leaders who come together as role models, partners, and volunteer mentors to challenge the status quo. It’s because of our volunteers who were willing to teach classes virtually, that we were still able to reach thousands of students from a safe distance.

Junior Achievement is committed to promoting a more equitable and just tomorrow by providing students with tools, resources, and support that they need to reach their full potential. With your help we are changing the game for our region’s youth with relevant, experiential education to prepare them for the real world.

Thank you for your continued support for Junior Achievement of the Heartland and the young people who are our future.

Please explore our annual report to witness the positive difference you have made in the lives of our students.

Sincerely,

Dougal Nelson
President & CEO
JA of the Heartland

Ryan Weber
Davenport Office Leader, RSM US LLP
JA of the Heartland Governing Board Chair

JA Results

JA Alumni Survey Results

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51%

Report having a bachelor’s degree or higher. (compared to 33% of the U.S. population)

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85%

Say the JA program played an important role in fostering the belief that they could achieve their goals

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83%

Say the JA program played an important role in boosting their confidence in new situations

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4 in 5

Report Junior Achievement played an important role in choosing their career path

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51%

Say they have worked in the same job or career as their JA volunteer

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85%

Report that they were positively influenced by the JA program

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45%

Report that the program had a positive impact on how they manage money

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45%

Report that the program had a positive impact on their work ethic

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53%

Reported having started or owned a business

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18%

JA Alumni businesses have revenues of $5 million or more (compared to 4.5% of U.S. small businesses)

JA Statistics

3 Pillars

– Financial Literacy

– Work Readiness

– Entrepreneurship

24

Counties Serviced

65

Years of Empowering the Future

Each year, JA of the Heartland typically supports

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50,000

Students Reached

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1,600

Individual Volunteers

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1,714

Classrooms

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138

Schools & Youth Organizations

Brian Strusz

When faced with economic uncertainty, it is important to reflect on current practices and look for creative solutions. The great news is that JA teaches students these same qualities through lessons focuses on financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship.

Dr. Brian Strusz, Pleasant Valley Community School District

Year in Review

JA Inspire Virtual Career Fair Helps Students Explore Careers During the Pandemic

JA Inspire Virtual Career Fair is Junior Achievement’s capstone career development program for 7th-12th grade students brought to life by our region’s employers. An online event, the JA Inspire Virtual Career Fair featured 51 local business exhibits for more than 3,040 students to explore and learn about various career opportunities. The virtual career fair helped fill a void in our community because in-person career expos had been canceled due to the pandemic. After participating in JA Inspire, 87% of students shared they feel better prepared to make informed decisions about future career plans.

Jersey Mike’s Month of Giving Raises $103,255 for JA in 2021


Throughout the month of March, the Jersey Mike’s team collected donations for Junior Achievement of the Heartland. On March 31, 100% of their sales were also donated to JA. With more than 2,500 Jersey Mike’s locations throughout the United States, the Davenport, Dubuque and Moline stores ranked in the top four for the amount raised. This was the fourth year of the partnership, and in that time Jersey Mike’s has raised a total of $195,594.45 to benefit local students.

A Real Piece of Work: The Job Podcast for Young People Launches

A Real Piece of Work: The Job Podcast for Young People features real people sharing real stories on how they found their passion and navigated their path to career success. Matt Rebro and former cohost, Melissa Pepper dig into personal and professional choices that led each featured guest to where they are today.  The podcast introduces teens to careers they may or may not be familiar with and provides tips on finding the right career for them.  Check out the series wherever you listen to podcasts.

JA Launches Virtual Learning Experiences to Accommodate Pandemic Atmosphere

Junior Achievement was able to keep students and local volunteers connected throughout the pandemic with video conferencing and recorded videos to present the JA lessons. There were 650 learning experiences offered; 518 included community volunteers beaming into the classroom or providing a recorded video. Educators were able to lead the balance. 

JA LEARNING EXPERIENCES

OVERVIEW

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9,226

Students

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102

Volunteers

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448

Educators

Junior Achievement’s unique delivery system provides the training, materials, and support necessary to prepare students for the real world. To address the challenges of the current educational environment, Junior Achievement is meeting students and educators where they are with learning experiences that are available through in-person, virtual, or self-guided options. Our commitment to proven student impact has not changed.

KINDERGARTEN

JA OURSELVES®

introduces the role people play in an economy. Young students learn about individual choices, money, the importance of saving and giving, and the value of work.

FIRST GRADE

JA OUR FAMILIES®

introduces the concepts of families, neighborhoods, money, and needs and wants. Students explore the ways in which businesses provide goods, services, and jobs for families.

SECOND GRADE

JA OUR COMMUNITY®

explores production methods through a simulation game. Students learn about taxes, decision making, and how money flows in an economy.

THIRD GRADE

JA OUR CITY®

introduces students to financial literacy, including how people manage their money and the importance of economic exchange within a city.

FOURTH GRADE

JA OUR REGION®

introduces students to entrepreneurship and how entrepreneurs use resources to produce goods and services in a community. 

FIFTH GRADE

JA OUR NATION®

provides students with practical information about the U.S. free market system and how it serves as an economic engine for businesses and careers. Students examine the need for entrepreneurial and innovative thinking to meet the requirements of high-growth, high-demand careers in a global business economy.

THIRD - FIFTH GRADE

JA MORE THAN MONEY®

introduces students to financial literacy and entrepreneurship, including money-management skills, goods and services, and global markets.

K - FIFTH GRADE

JA CAREER SPEAKERS SERIES®

provides students with a guest speaker or video sharing information about his/her career, work, and education experience.

FOURTH - SIXTH GRADE

JA BIZTOWN®

introduces students to economics and business starting with four weeks of teacher-led classroom instruction, followed by a day-long, hands-on experience where students apply the learned concepts in a lifelike community at JA World. Students run various businesses, earn paychecks, open and manage bank accounts, and become full-fledged consumers making purchases at other student-run businesses.  JA BizTown vividly illustrates the connection between hard work and tangible success while allowing students to gain firsthand understanding of their roles as citizens, consumers, and workers.

The JA BizTown learning experience can be enhanced using a new virtual extension of the program, JA BizTown Adventures™.

Program Reach

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1,010

Students

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39

Educators

JA BizTown Sponsors

Arconic
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The Bechtel Trusts
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MIDDLE GRADES (SIXTH - EIGHTH GRADE)

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3,840

Students

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22

Volunteers

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47

Educators

JA CAREER SPEAKERS SERIES®

provides students with a guest  speaker or video sharing information about his/her career, work, and education experience.

JA ECONOMICS FOR SUCCESS®

provides practical information about personal finance and the importance of identifying education and career goals based on a student’s skills, interests, and values.

JA IT'S MY FUTURE®

offers practical information to help prepare students for the working world. Students will develop the personal-branding and job-hunting skills needed to earn a job.

JA GLOBAL MARKETPLACE®

introduces students to the global marketplace and the ways in which countries buy and sell from each other. Students gain an understanding of producers and consumers in the interconnected global market.

JA EXCELLENCE THROUGH ETHICS®

introduces the importance of ethics and ethical decision-making and how ethical and unethical choices affect everyone in a community. 

JA IT'S MY JOB (SOFT SKILLS)®

helps students understand the value of professional communication and soft skills, making them more employable to future employers across multiple career clusters.

JA IT'S MY BUSINESS®

encourages middle school students to turn their ideas into a business. The program introduces design thinking as a problem-solving process  and provides students an authentic entrepreneurial experience that builds toward a pitch competition.

SEVENTH & EIGHTH GRADE

JA FINANCE PARK®

culminates with a visit to JA World, a realistic onsite facility or virtually in the classroom, where students engage with volunteers and put into practice what they’ve learned by developing a personal budget. Students select their career and define their future lifestyle and financial goals.

Program Reach

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222

Students

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5

Educators

JA Finance Park Sponsors

The Bechtel Trusts
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Program Reach

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845

Students

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18

Volunteers

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18

Educators

HIGH SCHOOL (NINTH - TWELFTH GRADE)

JA ALL ABOUT CARS®

introduces students to the essential costs related to buying and operating their first car and offers tips.

JA BE ENTREPRENEURIAL®

is a modular program that teaches students about the mindset and skills needed by both aspiring entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs.

  • JA Be Entrepreneurial®-Creative Problem Solving – introduces students to the concept and application of design thinking, an innovative process for problem solving used by entrepreneurs (and intrapreneurs) to brainstorm customer-centric ideas.
  • JA Be Entrepreneurial®-Rapid Business Planning – teaches students about the foundations of lean business planning using Lean Canvas, a streamlined, one-page business plan template. Emphasizes rapid business planning to test and refine the approach in continuous improvement cycles.
  • JA Be Entrepreneurial®-Think Like an Entrepreneur – teaches students to develop a mindset that enables opportunity identification, innovation, value creation, and problem solving. They learn the entrepreneurial principles, strategies, and skills through the experiences of others and apply them to their own lives.

JA CAREER SPEAKER SERIES®

provides students with a guest speaker or video sharing information about his/her career, work, and education experience.

JA CAREER SUCCESS®

equips students with the knowledge required to get and keep a job in high-growth industries. Students explore crucial workplace skills employers seek, but often find lacking in young employees.

JA EXCELLENCE THROUGH ETHICS®

gives students the chance to meet and interact with a business leader to learn about the importance of ethics in the workplace and everyday life.

JA FINANCE PARK ADVANCED®

is based on the JA Finance Park middle grades curriculum and simulation. The advanced curriculum gives high school students a more personalized focus and the advanced simulation allows students to see the long-term impact of their education, savings, and credit decisions.

JA IT'S MY JOB (SOFT SKILLS)®

helps students understand the value of professional communication and soft skills, making them more employable to future employers across multiple career clusters.

JA LAUNCH LESSON®

is a point-of-entry program delivered locally by entrepreneurs. Students learn relevant information firsthand about starting a company and the entrepreneurial journey.

JA PERSONAL FINANCE® 2.0

allows students to experience the interrelationship between today’s financial decisions and future financial freedom.

JA TAKE STOCK IN YOUR FUTURE®

students discover the benefits and challenges of investing in the stock market as part of a broader, long-term investment strategy and the risks and rewards of trading.

JA TITAN®

is a simulation-based program in which high school students compete as business CEOs in the phone industry, experiencing firsthand how an organization evaluates alternatives, makes decisions, analyzes the outcomes of those decisions, and then strategizes what to do next.

JA HIGH SCHOOL EXPERIENCE™ COURSES

is a series of semester-long, experiential, blended learning courses. Through a combination of instructional approaches, students progress from foundational principles through application, synthesis, and immersion in JA’s three pillars: entrepreneurship, financial literacy, and work readiness. Each course is accompanied by state-creditable instructional content (IC) that include projects and support career pathways aligned with JA’s areas of expertise.

JA HIGH SCHOOL EXPERIENCE COURSES ARE:

  • JA Business Communications®
  • JA Introduction to Business and Technology® 1 and JA Introduction to Business and Technology® 2
  • JA Entrepreneurial Mindset®
  • JA Financial Capability® 1 and JA Financial Capability® 2
  • JA Financial Literacy®
  • JA Marketing Principles® 1 and JA Marketing Principles® 2
  • JA Economics®
Cassie Saylor

I decided to continue volunteering for JA during the pandemic because the needs of the children in my community did not change when their learning environment did. Financial literacy and future goals are just as important now as they were prior to the pandemic, and it would be a shame for children to miss even more opportunities.

Cassie Saylor Pluim, Liberty Communications

JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT

SPECIAL PROGRAMS

Drs. David & Agnes Palmer Junior Achievement Titan Competition

Major Sponsors: Vickie Anne Palmer and I.H. Mississippi Valley Credit Union

JA Titan allows high school students to apply their business knowledge by competing online in a fictional industry. While simulating business quarters, students make decisions on price, production, marketing, capital investment, and R & D. These decisions determine the success or failure of their virtual company.

Students within JA of the Heartland’s territory get to put their skills and knowledge gained from JA Titan to the test by competing in the Drs. David & Agnes Palmer JA Titan Competition. Top performing teams are awarded scholarship money for post-secondary education.

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57

Student Participants

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8

Schools

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2

Virtual Events

JA Inspire™ Virtual

Major Sponsors: City of Moline, ILLOWA Construction Labor & Management, Iowa Workforce Development, The Moline Foundation, Nestlè Purina, and Vibrant Credit Union

JA Inspire Virtual Career Fair is Junior Achievement’s capstone career development program for 7th-12th grade students brought to life by our region’s employers. An online event, the JA Inspire Virtual Career Fair features local business exhibits for students to explore and learn about various career opportunities.

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3,047

Students

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15

Schools

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51

Local Organizations

JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT

SPECIAL EVENTS

Junior Achievement’s signature events raise money to support our programs, as well as raise awareness about our mission.

JA Taste of Achievement

Major Sponsor: CBI Bank & Trust

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1

Virtual Event

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10

Vendors

JA triviaBowl

Major Sponsors: GreenState Credit Union, HNI Corporation, and Necker’s Jewelers

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360

Attendees

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1,813

Students Served

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9

Virtual Events

JA Golf Classics

Major Sponsors: Free Enterprise Foundation, HNI Corporation, IMEG Corp., Iowa American Water, and Vibrant Credit Union

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410

Golfers

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3

Golf Courses

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4,373

Students Served

Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fames

Major Sponsors: Estes Construction, TAG Communications, and U.S. Bank N.A.
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431

Attendees

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2

Events

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1,032

Students Served

GOVERNING BOARD

OF DIRECTORS

Chair

Ryan Weber
RSM US LLP

Immediate Past Chair

Mike Vondran
TAG Communications

Vice Chair

Ted Olt III
Lane & Waterman LLP

Treasurer

Chad Ulrich
First Central State Bank

Secretary

Chris Maiers
Dupaco Community Credit Union

Nick Kremer

Driven Leads

Lynn Gibson

Origin Design

Shannon Hunter

Honkamp Krueger & Company

Bob Howard

CBI Bank & Trust

CENTRAL REGION

BOARD

Chair

Nick Kremer
Driven Leads

Vice Chair

Lynn Gibson
Origin Design

Illinois Counties: Bureau, Henry, La Salle, Lee, Putnam, Rock Island, and Whiteside

Iowa Counties: Clinton and Scott

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9,957

Students

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99

Volunteers

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361

Educators

Debbie Anselm
Quad-City Times

Beverly Barber
Community Volunteer

Cindy Barnett
Arconic

Karen Bonis
U.S. Bank N.A.

Brian Duffy
Per Mar Security Services

Christy Gause
IMEG Corp.

Lynn Gibson
IIW

Becky Hansen
Ascentra Credit Union

Brennan Hawley
Morgan Stanley

Mo Hyder
Rhythm City Casino, LLC

Jane Jansen
Encova

Reginald L. Lawrence II
Rock Island-Milan School District

Matt Maiers
DeWitt Bank & Trust Co.

Bob Marriott
Group O, Inc.

Joshua Maxfield
Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.

Ted Olt III
Lane & Waterman LLP

Bill Onions
Deloitte LLP

Matt Rebro
Russell Construction Company, Inc.

Rachel Savage
Moline-Coal Valley School District

Kerry Smith
ChalkBites, Inc.

Brian Strusz
Pleasant Valley Community School District

Joe Stutting
North Scott Community School District

Mike Thoms
City of Rock Island

Rob Tucker
Modern Woodmen of America

Chad Ulrich
First Central State Bank

Cale VanGenderen
Vibrant Credit Union

Eric Westphall
MidAmerican Energy Company

NORTH REGION

BOARD

Chair

Shannon Hunter
Honkamp Krueger & Company

Illinois County: Jo Daviess

Iowa Counties: Allamakee, Clayton, Dubuque, and Jackson

Wisconsin County: Grant

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1,590

Students

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19

Volunteers

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50

Educators

Patrick Arnold
A.Y. McDonald Manufacturing Company

Kerry Azbell
RSM US LLP

Ken Brown
Northeast Iowa Community College

Danielle Campbell
Sedgwick Claims Management Services, Inc.

Rick Colpitts
Western Dubuque Community School District

Scott Dalsing
Premier Bank

Kevin Finke
Dubuque Bank & Trust

Kristi Foxen
U.S. Bank N.A.

Ted Huinker
Fuerste, Carew, Juergens & Sudmeier P.C.

Paul Kalb
Conlon Construction

Andrew Katrichis
U.S. Bank N.A.

Nelson Klavitter
Community Volunteer

Shannon Kloft
Dupaco Community Credit Union

Robert Lee
Andersen E-Series

Chris Maiers
Dupaco Community Credit Union

Justin Mottet
Alliant Energy

Scott Oppelt
John Deere Dubuque Works

Michael Pennington
Cottingham & Butler

Brock Renbarger
MidWestOne Bank

Lisa Sabers
Kendall Hunt Publishing

Tom Sharkey
Pomeroy

David Swisher
Benchmark Capital Group LTD

Travis Wills
GreenState Credit Union

Judy Wolf
Community Volunteer

SOUTH REGION

BOARD

Chair

Bob Howard
CBI Bank & Trust

Illinois Counties: Henderson, Mercer, and Warren

Iowa Counties: Cedar, Des Moines, Lee, Louisa, Muscatine, and Washington

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2,375

Students

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53

Volunteers

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102

Educators

Kyle Fintel
Kent Corporation

Tracy McGinnis
CBI Bank & Trust

Sherry Miller
Bridgestone Commercial Solutions Group

Jim Nepple
Nepple Law PLC

Mark Post

Carver Pump Company

Teresa Schaper
First National Bank of Muscatine

Kim Swift
HNI – Stanley M. Howe Technology Center

The Free Enterprise Foundation was established to give our supporters the opportunity to make a lasting impact on future generations. While our education system is constantly changing, one constant remains the same; today’s children are our future. Through the work of Junior Achievement, children are assured an understanding of the opportunities our free enterprise system provides for future success.

The Free Enterprise Foundation provide funds to Junior Achievement of the Heartland by offering endowment giving opportunities that sustain JA’s core mission programs, increase the organization’s capacity to meet changing needs, and support strategic initiatives. Ultimately, the Free Enterprise Foundation is dedicated to ensuring the perpetuity of JA’s mission in our communities for generations to come.

Giving Options

  • Planned
  • Deferred
  • Bequest in a will or trust
  • Beneficiary of a life insurance policy
  • Beneficiary designation of a retirement fund
  • Tax advantages

Free Enterprise Foundation Board of Directors

Sheila Volrath
Chair
Morgan Stanley
Jim Watson 
Vice Chair
Hanson Watson Associates
Lance Heuer
Community Volunteer
Dougal Nelson
JA of the Heartland
Ted Olt III
Lane & Waterman LLP
Tom Victor
Community Volunteer
Ryan Weber
RSM US LLP

HERITAGE

SOCIETY

Legacy Giving

A special thank you to the following individuals for their long-term commitment by including JA of the Heartland in their estate planning.

James & Pamela Anderson

Derek & Paula Cockrell

Lance & Sharon Heuer

Jim & Carol Horstmann

Gary & Christy Kunz

John & Susan Lawson

Carter* & Kaye LeBeau

Robert & Margaret Lee

Glenn* & Kathleen Medhus

Dougal & Pam Nelson

Mike & Carol* Plunkett

*deceased

STATEMENT OF ACTIVITIES

THANK YOU!

Junior Achievement of the Heartland gratefully acknowledges our 2020-2021 Annual Report production partner:

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