Ascentra Credit Union Foundation donates $50,000 to implement Junior Achievement Programs locally

Ascentra Credit Union and Junior Achievement Collaborate to Prepare Students for Success

BETTENDORF, IA (July 24, 2015) — Students in the Quad City metro area, Clinton and Muscatine will learn important entrepreneurship, financial literacy and work readiness skills, thanks to a generous grant of $50,000 from Ascentra Credit Union Foundation to implement Junior Achievement (JA) programs.

This partnership will bring JA programming to students in kindergarten through 12th grade helping them learn important skills like creating a budget, becoming work-ready and developing a business plan. In addition, Ascentra Credit Union employees will continue to serve as JA classroom volunteers, as well as support other special events.  The $50,000 grant will be distributed over a four-year period with support continuing through 2018-2019.

“Junior Achievement recently conducted a national survey and found that 59 percent of teens think the best time to learn about money management is in elementary or junior high school.  Educators are turning to us for assistance in teaching these skills,” said Barbara VenHorst, President of Junior Achievement of the Heartland. “The vast majority of our programs are offered to schools at no cost.  We are thankful to the Ascentra Credit Union Foundation for their support in helping us teach basic life skills that will prepare students for success.”

With this investment in a large-scale partnership with Junior Achievement, the Ascentra Credit Union Foundation will ensure a continued support of programs that help students gain the knowledge and skills they need to make smart academic and economic choices.  This year’s grant will serve schools in Clinton, Muscatine, and Scott County in Iowa and Rock Island County in Illinois.

“By building and deepening our relationship with Junior Achievement of the Heartland we are fulfilling our mission of the foundation by being more impactful in the communities we serve,” said Dale Owen, Ascentra President & CEO.

Junior Achievement’s programs are aligned with Ascentra’s commitment to enhance youth development by supporting financial education and workforce readiness.

Junio Achievement Check Presentation-1

PHOTO CAPTION: Dale Owen, President and CEO of Ascentra Credit Union presents Barbara VenHorst, President, Junior Achievement of the Heartland with $50,000 check from the Ascentra Credit Union Foundation to support JA’s financial literacy and work-readiness programs in Clinton, Muscatine and the Quad Cities.  (Left to Right:  Becky Hansen, Chief Risk Officer – Ascentra Credit Union, Jennifer Naeve, Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations – Ascentra Credit Union, Linda Andry, Chief Financial Officer – Ascentra Credit Union, Dale Owen, President and CEO – Ascentra Credit Union, Julie Dillie, Development Director – Junior Achievement of the Heartland, Barbara VenHorst, President – Junior Achievement of the Heartland, Rich Fontenoy, Development Director – Junior Achievement of the Heartland, and Ted Olt III, Secretary – Junior Achievement of the Heartland Board of Directors.

About The Ascentra Credit Union Foundation

Established in 2013, to honor the memory of Ascentra Credit Union President & CEO Paul Lensmeyer and to meet the charitable and educational objectives of the Board of Directors of the credit union, the mission of the Ascentra Credit Union Foundation is to improve the quality of life for the membership of Ascentra Credit Union and further the philanthropic outreach in the communities the credit union serves. The focus of the foundation is on funding work to enhance youth development, expand credit education opportunities, foster community development, support cultural activities, and invest in ways to enhance the financial viability of the underserved.  More information can be found at

About Junior Achievement USA® (JA)

Junior Achievement is the world’s largest organization dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their future, and make smart academic and economic choices. JA programs are delivered by corporate and community volunteers, and provide relevant, hands-on experiences that give students from kindergarten through high school knowledge and skills in financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship. Today, JA reaches 4.5 million students per year in 114 markets across the United States.  Locally, Junior Achievement of the Heartland serves more than 55,000 students through eastern Iowa, western Illinois, and Grant County, Wisconsin. Visit for more information.

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