PNC Financial Services: Foundation awards $372,000 in grants to YMCA of the North, Junior Achievement North

MINNEAPOLIS, March 9, 2022 — The PNC Foundation announced that it has awarded $372,000 in grants over three years to YMCA North and Junior Achievement North to support early education programs, educator career paths early childhood education and a cohort of entrepreneurship students in Black communities.

Grants will support organizational initiatives in Hennepin, Anoka, Carver, Ramsey, Dakota, Washington, and Chisago counties, where many residents are economically disadvantaged, lack the support to become financially independent, and lack adequate access to resources educational.

“PNC is committed to making real change in the areas where we can have the greatest impact,” said Kate Kelly, PNC Regional President for Minnesota. “We are focused on promoting meaningful and lasting opportunity in the traditionally underserved populations and communities where we live and work, consistent with our efforts to move all financially forward.”

Grant recipients will use the funding as follows:

– YMCA of the North ($100,000 grant) – The PNC grant will support the YMCA Preschool at Maple Pond Homes Neighborhood Center. The project offers a two-pronged component, including a new kindergarten readiness program at Maple Pond Homes and an early childhood career path.

The preschool program will operate year-round, serving a maximum of 20 children per year. Additionally, the YMCA will provide a community member with a fully paid $2,000 scholarship to obtain a Child Development Associate (CDA) certificate, which will qualify them to be a Certified Early Childhood Education Teacher in the most states.

Junior Achievement North ($272,000 grant) – The PNC grant will support the expansion of JA LaunchU! to a cohort of black students. JA LaunchU! brings together a group of aspiring young entrepreneurs who receive the resources and support needed to successfully launch their own business.

Under the mentorship of Entrepreneurs in Residence and a network of peers, JA LaunchU! empowers high school students to address a need or solve a problem in their community and teaches them the practical skills needed to conceptualize, capitalize and manage their own business.

“The YMCA appreciates the opportunity to partner with PNC to make a real difference in preparing children for success in school and supporting the careers of child care teachers,” said Glen Gunderson, president of YMCA North. “The Y is committed to serving our community by providing educational and enriching experiences that ensure every child has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive.

Sara Dziuk, President and CEO of Junior Achievement North, shared, “We are grateful to partner with PNC to develop a cohort of Black JA LaunchU students! Their commitment to community and generosity is inspiring. Junior Achievement North focuses on expanding programming equitably so that students who have been systematically excluded can access transformational learning opportunities. I look forward to seeing the creativity and passion of students as they launch their businesses and learn fundamental skills that will prepare them for a bright future.

The three-year grants are part of PNC’s $88 billion community benefits plan, including a previously announced commitment of more than $1.5 billion to address systemic racism and support community economic empowerment. black and low- and moderate-income (LMI) Americans. The community benefits plan will provide at least $88 billion in loans, investments and other financial supports to benefit IMT people and neighborhoods, and people and communities of color, over a four-year period.

About Junior Achievement North
Junior Achievement North has been serving students in Minnesota, North Dakota, and Western Wisconsin since 1949. We provide K-12 students with financial literacy, college, and career readiness and entrepreneurship training. Our programs are delivered by in-person or virtual volunteers, primarily business professionals, who share their skills and experience to motivate and inspire students to succeed. Learn more about

About the YMCA of the North
The YMCA of the North is a leading non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Established 165 years ago, the Ys provide life-enhancing services in the Greater Twin Cities Metropolitan Area, southeastern Minnesota and communities in western Wisconsin. The 29 Y Program locations and sites, eight overnight camps, 10 day camps, and more than 90 childcare sites engage more than 370,000 men, women, and children of all ages, incomes, and backgrounds. To learn more about the Y’s mission and work, visit

About the PNC Foundation
The PNC Foundation, which receives its primary funding from the PNC Financial Services Group (, actively supports organizations that provide services to benefit the communities in which it has a significant presence. The foundation focuses its philanthropic mission on early childhood education and community and economic development, which includes arts and culture. By grow wellits flagship cause that began in 2004, PNC created a bilingual, $500 million, multi-year initiative to help prepare children from birth to age 5 to succeed in school and in life.

Robert Darmanin
(586) 258-8513
[email protected]

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