Fourteen thousand more students in the U.S. will be gaining access to the tools to start building their own companies, thanks to a $500,000 grant awarded Monday to Junior Achievement through the Sam's Club Giving Made Simple campaign.
The worldwide organization, which teaches young people workforce skills, financial literacy and the values of entrepreneurship, already reaches more than 4 million American teens each year through more than 180,000 classes.
The Sam's Club campaign, which began April 8, enabled more than 125,000 members and associates of the popular retail warehouse chain to vote in-store and online on how eight preselected nonprofits focused on youth education and entrepreneurship would split a total of $4 million.
Junior Achievement earned the second highest number of votes in the youth education category. YMCA earned a $1 million grant by securing the most votes in that category. Kiva, an organization promoting global entrepreneurial lending, won first place and a $1 million grant in the separate entrepreneurship category.
Social media played an important role in the giveaway. Members could cast their votes on Sam's Club's Facebook page, and the company heavily promoted the giveaway through Twitter. Junior Achievement generated the most online votes during the campaign.
'I am extremely proud of the effort by our 130 U.S. local area offices-each one was able to effectively mobilize its network of donors, educators, volunteers and board members to drive votes for Junior Achievement for the duration of the campaign,' said Jack Kosakowski, president of Junior Achievement USA, in a statement. 'Junior Achievement is very grateful to Sam's Club for the opportunity to participate in Giving Made Simple.'