News release

Junior Achievement of Greater KC announces plans to open real world learning incubator for kids

JLL secures location for new 20,000-square-foot Junior Achievement Youth Learning Lab

March 02, 2020

KANSAS CITY, March 2, 2020 – Junior Achievement of Greater Kansas City announced plans to expand programs and develop the Youth Learning Lab, a new youth career development and innovation center, supporting their mission to inspire and prepare youth to succeed in the global economy.

The new 20,000-square-foot “lab” will be at Northwood Shopping Center, located at 2844 West 47th Avenue in Kansas City, Kansas. The center will provide hands-on learning experience for more than 10,000 students each year with three new signature programs and experiences: JA Biztown, a program inspired by the late Exchange City, where students become an adult for the day and manage a career, become a Kansas City consumer, and learn to be an engaged citizen; JA Career Exploration Center; and JA Innovation Center. The new facility is expected to open this fall.

"Junior Achievement plays an important role in the education and development of our youth across our region," said Megan Sturges Stanfield, President and CEO, Junior Achievement of Greater Kansas City. "Our new Youth Learning Lab, as well as our curriculum and programs focused on work readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy prepares our kids for future success. We are proud to bring our friends, neighbors, civic leaders and corporate partners together to celebrate the launch of this expansion effort. The new facility will inspire our region’s greatest asset, our children, to dream big, explore opportunities for career and business ownership in our region, and fulfill their greatest potential.”

To date, more than $4,000,000 has been committed to the project through private contributions from the Sunderland Foundation, CommunityAmerica Credit Union, Hall Family Foundation, Cloud L. Cray Foundation, Ann & Gary Dickinson Family Charitable Foundation, Commerce Bancshares Foundation, Price Chopper, Evergy, and the Junior Achievement Board of Directors.

“The Sunderland Foundation is proud to be among the first champions supporting Junior Achievement’s innovative opportunity and expansion efforts,” said Kent Sunderland, Chairman & Trustee, Sunderland Foundation. “We challenge the business and philanthropic community to join us in supporting this crucial project. Through our combined efforts, we can establish a pipeline that leads Kansas City and its students to successful futures.”

Now in its public phase, the campaign will continue to accept gifts of any amount. Donations can be made in support of the Youth Learning Lab or to continue Junior Achievement’s classroom-based programs across the region. There are also limited opportunities for industry sponsorship in the new facility.

“CommunityAmerica’s mission is to help our members achieve financial peace of mind, and local youth are at the forefront of our efforts,” said Lisa Ginter, CEO, CommunityAmerica. “Junior Achievement has been a key charitable partner for CommunityAmerica for many years. Our sponsorship of the JA Biztown financial center was the logical next step in furthering our partnership with JA and is game-changing. This new center of learning will provide programming to ensure area youth develop the financial and career development skills they need to attain success as adults. We are proud to be involved and look forward to the incredible impact JA Biztown will make in the community this fall and beyond.”

Nearly 1,200 volunteers throughout Greater Kansas City, composed primarily of business professionals, inspire more than 25,000 students in grades kindergarten through 12 across the Kansas City region each year about how to manage money, how to start a business, and develop skills necessary to succeed in a 21st century economy.

JLL’s RJ Trowbridge successfully negotiated the lease on behalf of Junior Achievement of Greater Kansas City.

To learn more about the capital campaign, or to make a secure online donation, please contact Megan Sturges Stanfield at or 816.561.3558, or visit the Junior Achievement of Greater Kanas City website.

About JLL

JLL (NYSE: JLL) is a leading professional services firm that specializes in real estate and investment management. JLL shapes the future of real estate for a better world by using the most advanced technology to create rewarding opportunities, amazing spaces and sustainable real estate solutions for our clients, our people and our communities. JLL is a Fortune 500 company with annual revenue of $18.0 billion, operations in over 80 countries and a global workforce of more than 93,000 as of December 31, 2019. JLL is the brand name, and a registered trademark, of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated. For further information, visit

About Junior Achievement of Greater Kansas City

Junior Achievement of Greater Kansas City brings business back to the classroom by providing programs to promote financial literacy, inspire entrepreneurship, and prepare students (K-12) for success in a 21st century workplace. By connecting classrooms with business and community volunteers in a hands-on learning environment, we equip Kansas City’s next generation with the skills they need for a prosperous future.