Two students stand together at the Young AmeriTowne Bank

Sponsor Spotlight: Children learn-by-doing thanks to the Madge M. and Joseph T. Mohar Charitable Foundation

Janet Redwine Get Involved, Young AmeriTowne, YouthBiz Leave a Comment

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Samantha “Sam” Morris, Executive Director of the Madge M. and Joseph T. Mohar Charitable Foundation, poses with Arrowhead Elementary students working in the Young AmeriTowne Utility Company.

Young AmeriTowne is exciting and memorable for adults and kids alike.  That’s how a partnership began between Young Americans Center for Financial Education and Madge M. and Joseph T. Mohar Charitable Foundation, which has supported hands-on financial education for the last decade.

Mr. and Mrs. Mohar both had a strong work ethic and they valued financial education.  The couple worked for Mountain Bell, Madge as an operations supervisor and Joseph as a lineman, and it was said that although it typically took two men to lift a telephone pole, Mr. Mohar could lift one by himself.  They lived in Commerce City and later Denver, when they retired.

According to Samantha Morris, Executive Director of the Mohar Foundation, “AmeriTowe was Mr. Mohar’s favorite thing—he supported the program even before the Foundation began.” As a result, the Foundation funds Send-a-School, a scholarship initiative that enables deserving schools to attend the program for a reduced rate.

For example, Send-a-School sent 108 students from Cherry Creek School District’s Arrowhead Elementary School to Young AmeriTowne early in 2019.  “The reason we’re here is because of Send-a-School,” said Fifth Grade Teacher Karen Watson.  “Many of our parents can’t afford the $20 fee, and our PTCO can’t support more than one or two kids.”  Support from the Mohar Foundation has enabled more than 4,500 young people to experience a hands-on lesson in free enterprise through Young AmeriTowne.

While the Mohar Foundation continues their support of Send-a-School and Young AmeriTowne, they are also looking to support economic development opportunities for youth, especially in rural communities.  That is why in 2018, a Foundation grant also supported YouthBiz, which provides hands-on entrepreneur programming for fifth through ninth graders, and AmeriTowne On the Road, which brings AmeriTowne to communities outside the Denver metro area.  Just this summer, the Mohar Foundation delivered YouthBiz to students participating in the College for Kids summer program at Aims Community College.

Although the namesakes of the Madge M. and Joseph T. Mohar Charitable Foundation are no longer with us, their legacy lives on.  Erika, a parent volunteer with Arrowhead Elementary, summarizes the learning at Young Americans Center like this: “My daughter has to be doing it to learn—that’s why it’s such a great program.”  Thank you, Madge M. and Joseph T. Mohar Charitable Foundation, for providing such engaging learn-by-doing experiences in financial education.

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