Rick and Vicki James believe one can never know when the light bulb of understanding will occur for a young person. That’s why The James Foundation has given a $2 million gift to Junior Achievement of Northern Indiana’s “Casting the Vision” campaign.
“Junior Achievement gives kids a hand up and starts them on a path to success,” Rick says. “Because others were there to help us get where we are, we can give young people the support they need now.”
With this gift to the campaign, The James Foundation is embracing Junior Achievement’s vision of providing a localized career development center and entrepreneurial programs that can meet the needs of a younger, savvier generation of entrepreneurs.
“Junior Achievement’s commitment to its mission has already shown tremendous success in serving more than 140,000 students each year,” Rick says. “Supporting this vision for the future is a natural extension for The James Foundation, because education is one path to opening minds and offering opportunities.”
The James Foundation believes in enhancing existing social platforms and providing new educational opportunities. Through this opportunity, the foundation believes citizens will be empowered and inspired to initiate and cultivate positive change in all life experiences.
“We feel most rewarded when we are helping others,” Vicki says. “When someone is successful in their business, for example, or when a young person graduates because of scholarship help we gave, that is more rewarding than things.”
When granting funds through The James Foundation, Rick and Vicki say they value an organization’s commitment to its mission.
“JA is passionate about its work with young people, and we get excited about that commitment to children and their future,” Vicki says.
“JA demonstrates a full commitment to its mission at every level,” Rick says. “Through this lead gift to the ‘Casting the Vision’ campaign we hope to challenge others to give to this important opportunity.”
Rick and Vicki James believe philanthropy is about giving more than money. It’s also about people giving their time and talents.
“It is up to each of us to use what we have in ways that better lives and make where we live better,” Rick says. “The other side of that equation is that when we do create value and financial wealth, what we do with that wealth that creates our legacy.”
Rick and Vicki say there are many ways to give people a hand up and help them step forward.
“It’s how I was raised, that we’re here to help each other and give back,” Vicki says. “My family didn’t have lots of money, but that didn’t stop my parents from helping others. Giving back has always been part of my life.”
Rick and Vicki believe that through hard work, dedication and devoted faith they have been abundantly blessed. Sharing those blessings with community, through grant partnerships, and individuals, through scholarships, with drive and determination to make themselves better led them to develop The James Foundation.
“Through the foundation, we can support community needs and education, both of which are important avenues for our giving,” Rick says. “The foundation is a mechanism for us to perpetuate our giving and make a positive impact.”
The James Foundation has affected change by making donations to worthy organizations locally and across the country, creating early education opportunities for children throughout northeast Indiana, and supporting organizations such as Junior Achievement of Northern Indiana.