The Women's Giving Circle of Howard County

Women’ Giving Circle receives $20,000 for JA Rising Women program

COLUMBIA, Md.—The Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County, which raises and distributes funds supporting women and girls, received a $20,000 donation from husband-and-wife Columbia-residents Bob and Bach Jeffrey to support Junior Achievement of Central Maryland’s Rising Women program, which connects high school girls with mentors who help them with entrepreneurship projects.

“Years ago, Bach had been a member of The Women’s Giving Circle, and I participated in Junior Achievement when I was in high school,” Bob Jeffrey said. “The idea of educating women about business also truly resonated with us. We were thrilled to provide funding that has had such an immediate impact for a nonprofit and potentially long-term impacts for young women.”

The Women’s Giving Circle, through its fund at the Community Foundation of Howard County, will distribute the donation as a grant to Junior Achievement allowing JA Rising Women to continue for a fourth year.

“We’ve watched girls grow from students to entrepreneurs in the JA Rising Women program,” said Jennifer Bodensiek, president and CEO for Junior Achievement of Central Maryland. “Our Rising Women learn the importance of creativity, collaboration and hard work and carry those skills into the future. We’re grateful to the Jeffreys for helping us continue for another year.”

JA Rising Women meets after school and connects students from across the county with business mentors who help participants develop a product or service, raise capital, deploy marketing and collect profits. Previous Rising Women cohorts, ranging from 12 to 22 girls per semester, developed products including scented pillowcases, recipe books and school spirit wear.

“JA Rising Women is exactly the kind of on-the-ground opportunity for young women that we love to support,” said Alison Canning, chair of The Women’s Giving Circle. “It gives girls a chance to roll up their sleeves and learn through experience, empowering them to take the lead and find fulfillment in their future endeavors.”

This year’s three Rising Women cohorts will celebrate their work with a year-end expo and competition judged by local experts on May 10. The program will accept applications for new participants starting this summer for the 2017-2018 school year. For more information, visit

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. (

Junior Achievement of Central Maryland is dedicated to inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in a global economy. Through a dedicated volunteer network, Junior Achievement of Central Maryland provides hands-on programs that show more than 44,000 K-12 students each year the realities of how careers, money and business ownership work. (



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