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Calling all JA Champions!


Carter Godwin Woodson: father of Black history. Frederick McKinley Jones: transportation logistics revolutionary. Marc Regis Hannah: computer graphics pioneer. Mary McLeod Bethune: passionate education advocate. In a word – TRAILBLAZERS.
February is Black History Month, and I am proud to seize this moment to recognize the accomplishments of these, and many other, history makers. During the past week I have been particularly grateful for the contributions of Alice Parker, who was key in inventing modern central heating systems!
If it is your first time hearing these names, I invite you to learn more about their impactful work by visiting JAKC’s social media. Though we are especially focused on lifting Black voices this month, the impact of these visionaries’ contributions is felt 365 days a year. JAKC strives to elevate the accomplishments of local trailblazers and connect JA kids to mentors who showcase the diversity of our community every month. Our country’s breadth of color, of thought, and of experience has powered some of the greatest advancements in human history.
For JA kids the most influential person modeling what it means to embrace diversity is YOU. Kansas City’s JA Champions come from every walk of life and every part of the metro. Your stories show JA kids there are many paths to success. Your support, in hours served, dollars given, and wisdom imparted, empowers young people to envision their futures. YOU help them understand the power of determination and how to frame differences as strengths.
Diversity comes in a multitude of forms – race, culture, disability, age, and identity to name a few. It is critical JA kids continue to see representations of diversity at all levels, because you can’t be what you can’t see. This month I have a challenge for you. In the next 30 days, I want you to share why you are a JA Champion with one trailblazer in your own circle and encourage them to consider helping young people learn and grow.
I know JA Champions are people of action and are always ready to help! Right now we have a few different remote volunteer opportunities coming up in March to help JA kids continue their love of learning. Reach out to Sara Swearingen at to find out more. You can help the aspiring young trailblazers in our community from the comfort of your home or office by leveraging the power of technology! Please consider inviting a trailblazer from your network to join you. Show them how fun and rewarding the experience is for YOU, and JA students.
Because of you, young people in our community will be equipped with the tools and skills they need to blaze their own trails and achieve bright tomorrows. THANK YOU for being a spark in their future! 

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