Mercer County Community FCU and Junior Achievement Present $10,000 Grant to Ionta Elementary School

Front row (L-R): Sophia Lewis-Bateson, Ionta student; Sandi Carangi, CEO, MCCFCU & JA board chair; Brody Smith, Ionta student. Back row (L-R): Dr. Dan Bell, Superintendent, Hermitage School District; Matt Ristvey, JA board member; Brad Mantzell, JA board member; Bill Lucas, Executive VP, JA of Western PA; Elaine Patton, MCCFCU & JA board member; Eric Horvath and Eric Trosch, Hermitage School District.

Mercer County Community Federal Credit Union in partnership with Junior Achievement of Western PA (JA) recently received a $10,000 grant from the CrossState Credit Union Foundation. Funds from the grant were presented to Ionta Elementary School in Hermitage, PA to be used for JA lessons and a day at JA BizTown in South Fayette Township, PA.

The JA BizTown experience begins with elementary students working through classroom lessons teaching personal economics, basic finances such as writing checks, applying for a job, and working in groups. These educational concepts are then put into action as the students spend the day at JA BizTown where they operate a credit union, manage stores, and work with their team to run successful businesses. 

A total of 167 fifth-grade students from Ionta Elementary will travel to South Fayette Township on May 10th and 11th to take part in the hands-on simulated community. Volunteers from the credit union, teachers, parents, and JA board members will also attend to guide the students throughout each day.

“We’re thrilled that students from our community will have the opportunity to participate in JA BizTown exploring various careers and learning valuable lessons in personal finance,” stated Dr. Dan Bell, Superintendent, Hermitage School District.

In addition to the $10,000 presented to Ionta Elementary School, Mercer County Community FCU and JA will be presenting matching funds for another $10,000 to Farrell Elementary School. These additional funds will be used to assist six classes of students from Farrell Elementary to visit JA BizTown in the fall of 2023.

For more information about JA Biztown and volunteering with JA, visit

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