Olympic medalist launches foundation for youth

Jackie Joyner-Kersee, an Olympic gold medalist, has launched a foundation initiative aimed at empowering youth and communities through agriculture, nutrition, and physical activity. The Jackie Joyner-Kersee Food, Agriculture, and Nutrition Innovation Center (JJK FAN) is established in East St. Louis, providing quality programs in STEAM+Ag, food production, nutrition, and physical activity.

This initiative is a result of a unique public-private partnership between the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and University of Illinois Extension.

The JJK FAN Center is housed in a 12,000 ft² office facility, a generous donation from Lansdowne Up, and is designed to include indoor and outdoor urban agriculture demonstration sites, spaces for hands-on training, and certification programs.

The project aims to promote economic empowerment and community development in the region by offering youth and community members avenues for personal and professional growth, ultimately aiming to become a nationally recognized innovation center that empowers through urban agriculture, food innovation, entrepreneurialism, and career readiness.

Jackie Joyner-Kersee’s foundation, established in 1988, has a long history of supporting community development through access to healthy lifestyles, quality educational opportunities, sports and recreation, and character and leadership development. This new initiative underscores her commitment to empowering youth in her hometown of East St. Louis through innovative educational experiences​​​​.

By cadmin

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