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Junior Achievement: Turning ‘I can’t’ into ‘I can’ and dreams into plans

Every year the Rochester Business Hall of Fame inducts new entrepreneurs and innovators who have helped shape our region.  They have made significant contributions to their industries, given generously in our community, and serve as excellent role models for the next generation.

Patty Leva

Patty Leva

This year’s evening induction ceremony will be held on October 21, 2019, and supports Junior Achievement’s efforts to help more than 15,000 students gain critical financial, workforce and entrepreneurial skills, and develop the attitudes and confidence to realize their own version of the American Dream.

2019 marked a milestone for the JA mission–100 years of preparing and inspiring youth in the nation, and 50 years here in Rochester.  As we look to the future, we are focused on collaborating with educators, businesses and other service agencies to help solve this community’s most pressing needs, including poverty, workforce shortages and new business generation.

This year we launched our first-ever capital campaign to bring a national JA program to Rochester–a program that has helped address many of these same issues in communities throughout our country.  It’s a powerful experience that gives students an authentic and memorable way to practice being an adult in our economy, and provides the skills and confidence to become self-sufficient future citizens.

It’s called the JA Discovery Center and will be housed in Kodak Center at Eastman Business Park. Our school districts are actively preparing to integrate this innovative program into their middle and high school curricula.  Our local employers will be highlighting their industries and the careers and jobs of the future, and our volunteers are ready to impart their workforce experience, including all the “soft” skills required for success.  We will not only measure our student’s increased academic performance as a result of participating, but also their ability to now say “I can.”

Each one of the 135 members of the Rochester Business Hall of Fame has contributed to the development and growth of our region.  JA is proud to bring these great stories of success to our students and to showcase the vast opportunities our laureates have created.  In doing so, we will inspire the next generation to turn “I can’t” into “I can” and dreams into plans!

Congratulations to the 2019 class of the Rochester Business Hall of Fame.

-Patricia Leva,

President & CEO,

Junior Achievement of Central Upstate New York


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