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Eliminating Barriers in Low Socioeconomic Communities | Introducing A New “Equity First” Model

Beginning this fall, Junior Achievement of Central Carolinas (JACC) will adopt an “equity first” approach to how they educate students in the Charlotte Region. Schools with a 50% or higher population of students receiving free and reduced lunch will be able to participate in JACC curriculum at no cost. This new model ensures students in low-socioeconomic communities have access to financial education, valuable tools and mentorship that they otherwise might not.

A 2020 study by Leading on Opportunity shows that in Charlotte, there is less than a five percent chance of a child moving from the bottom fifth of the national income distribution to the top fifth. Social networks in Charlotte are limited by race and income according to research from Brookings. By shifting to a model that prioritizes equity, JACC is a part of the work being done to improve economic mobility in Charlotte and beyond.

“It was important for us to intentionally make this shift and prioritize the students who stand to gain from our services the most, but were unable to due to cost,” said Kimberly Baker, SVP of Education. “The path to transforming the lives of students is led by equity.”

JACC aims to reach 45,000 students this year, with two-thirds being a part of the equity first model. An incredible impact will be made on the communities we serve with financial support from generous donors and corporate sponsors. While schools that do not currently meet the established aid criteria will continue to have access at a minimal cost, JACC hopes to expand the model so that all schools can participate at no cost.

“We are excited to welcome students back to our TowneBank Opportunity HQ and provide a safe and engaging way to develop skills in entrepreneurship, financial literacy and work readiness,” said Baker.

In-classroom programming is already taking place and JACC is preparing for students to return to their campus located in Camp North End this December.


About Junior Achievement of Central Carolinas 

Junior Achievement is the world's largest organization dedicated to giving students the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their future, and make smart academic and economic choices.  

Junior Achievement of Central Carolinas (JACC), located in Camp North End, works with corporate and community volunteers to deliver curriculum-based programming. The relevant, hands-on experiences give students from kindergarten through high school knowledge and skills to increase their likelihood of experiencing career success, starting a business and positively navigating economic mobility. Visit for more information. 




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