The Women's Giving Circle of Howard County

WGC Awards $60K Grant to JA Rising Women Program

WGC Awards $60K Grant to JA Rising Women Program

Junior Achievement (JA) of Central Maryland has been granted $60K by the Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County for its JA Rising Women program, which gives local young female students the opportunity to start their own companies alongside local women business mentors.

JA Rising Women is the WGC’s multi-year grant supporting a 13 week after-school entrepreneurship program for girls grades 9-12, in partnership with Junior Achievement of Central Maryland. 2018 is the fourth year of WGC funding JA Rising Women, having invested $100,000 to date, and this new grant will continue it forward.

The Women’s Giving Circle is made up of philanthropists dedicated to creating opportunities that address the needs of women and girls in the Howard County area.

“We are thrilled to continue our wonderful partnership with JA of Central Maryland on the JA Rising Women program”, said Barb Van Winkle, head chairwoman of the Women’s Giving Circle. “It’s exciting to be able to fund another 3 years of this exceptional entrepreneurship program for girls that has yielded clear results and has exceeded our expectations across the board. This funding partnership has been possible because of the support of our many donors, and in particular, the strong, meaningful leadership of WGC donors Bach and Bob Jeffrey. We are looking forward to three more years of this strong funding partnership, together!”

The $60K donation will be distributed to Rising Women program over the next three years. $25K of the total grant will be coming from Bob and Bach Jeffrey, both heavily involved in JA of Central Maryland and the Women’s Giving Circle.

“Having participated in JA myself as a student, I know firsthand the long-term benefits of practical, hands-on business education exposure at an early age. Bach and I are grateful to make it our priority to give the same opportunity back,” said Bob Jeffrey. “We’ve seen two Howard County Rising Women programs advance to the JA National Student Leadership Summit and are honored to help fuel this momentum. Every student should have a chance to introduce their innovations on such a large stage.”

JA Rising Women has launched seven new student-run companies which have earned more than $3,000. These profits have been donated back into the community, benefitting local organizations such as the Howard County Food Bank, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Special Olympics, and the Linus Project.

“We are incredibly honored and thankful for this generous donation from the Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County and our long-time friends, the Jeffrey family,” said Jennifer Bodensiek, President and CEO of Junior Achievement. “With this continued support we can strengthen our Rising Women program and empower the next generation of women business leaders to inspire, innovate and excel.”

The JA Rising Women program provides real-world experiences to help build entrepreneurial and business mindsets in young women and girls. To find out more, click here.

About Junior Achievement of Central Maryland  Junior Achievement of Central Maryland is part of the world’s largest organization dedicated to inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in a global economy. Through a dedicated volunteer network, JACMD provides hands-on programs that show more than 46,000 K-12 students each year the realities of how careers, money and business ownership work. JA experiences are proven to give students the edge in college completion, career readiness, earning potential, and business start-up. For more information, visit

About The Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County: The Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County is a community of women philanthropists who strategically raise money and pool funds to help women and girls in Howard County. The Women’s Giving Circle works to increase giving by women and build a permanent endowment fund supporting services that help women and girls develop life skills and personal authority. The Women’s Giving Circle fund is an endowed fund at the Community Foundation of Howard County. (

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