How One JLL Team Member Inspires a Future Generation of Leaders with Junior Achievement

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Our communities depend on us to inspire future generations to excel –– both personally and professionally. Those individuals will grow up to be our future leaders, and need us for support and encouragement to succeed.

Ed Manko, Senior Vice President of JLL’s Pittsburgh office, takes this thought to heart. In fact, he has volunteered at Junior Achievement (JA) for more than 25 years. Manko was invited to join the efforts years ago by the former JA chairman. Ever since, he’s worked primarily on funding efforts, fundraising events, and serves on the organization’s board of directors.

Over the years, Manko has helped raise more than $5 million to support the foundation’s efforts.

On Tuesday, March 8, Manko was honored with JA’s Gold Leadership Award, which provides recognition for individual’s who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to the organization. He was chosen from more than 218,000 volunteers. Congratulations, Ed!

JA Ed Manko

Above: Ed Manko accepts the Gold Leadership Award on Tuesday, March 8, at the JA USA Volunteer Summit in New York.

Introducing the Junior Achievement Mission

JA’s purpose is simple: “to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy.” JA has a commitment to motivational, hands-on learning in subjects like financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship. Volunteers deliver JA’s curriculum and learning mission through hands-on classroom activities to inspire young people.

According to Ed, JA has reached out to more than 70,000 students in Western Pennsylvania alone. He pointed out that many prominent leaders were JA students, including Mark Cuban, a successful businessman and philanthropist. Cuban is best known for his time on ABC’s hit show, Shark Tank. Other JA alumni include American singer and songwriter Christina Aguilera, Senior Vice President and Market Executive at Bank of America Patricia Brooks-Nobles, American journalist Dan Rather, and many more.

Besides classroom visits, JA also features several fundraising events throughout the year. The next planned event is the annual Bowl-A-Thon. The fundraiser takes place in cities across the U.S., and you can find the city closest to you here.

Tips from Ed to Get Involved in a Philanthropic Cause 

It’s never too late to get involved with a philanthropic cause that matters to you. Check out these 5 tips to help you get started:

  1. Create a list of organizations and causes that you have a passion for.
  2. Meet with board members to discus involvement opportunities.
  3. Attend informational meetings or volunteer.
  4. Look for opportunities that meet your skills and schedule.
  5. Introduce yourself and share your resume with interested organizations.

Once you find the organization that matches your passions, interests and schedule, find out how you can get started. Also, consider how your professional career can enhance the organization’s efforts, and volunteer to lend your skills or trade.

Why We Care About Giving Back 

JLL has a commitment to serving the community, and we support our employees’ philanthropic quests. In 2015, JLL was even named to CR Magazine’s 100 best corporate citizens. We leverage our business success to give back to the community. Currently, we focus mainly on extending help to health organizations, education programs, and youth and at-risk family charities.

The goal of our charitable acts helps us help us connect with our clients, employees and future employees, as well as convey our commitment to diversity and inclusion. For more information on our philanthropic efforts, see our Community Connections toolkit.

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