// photos by Denise Williams
The annual $mart Women Make Change! luncheon is Junior Achievement’s signature event to benefit its JA Girl$ program. Now in its eighth year, the event brings together those in the community whose unwavering support impacts what JA Girl$ and Junior Achievement are able to accomplish now and into the future.
On October 20 nearly 400 attendees filled the Florida Blue Conference Center in support of the program. This year’s featured keynote speaker was Sonia Manzano, award-winning television writer and children's book author, otherwise known as “Maria” on Sesame Street. Guests enjoyed lunch while JA Girl$ participants emceed the show and presented JA Girl$ highlights from the past year. Taylor Richardson, a JA Girl$ participant in 7th grade at The Bolles School, spoke of her involvement and of her aspirations to one day become an astronaut.
In addition Junior Achievement surprised Lisa O’Neill of DTCC with the JA Girl$ Legacy Award. $mart Women Make Change! is supported by a grant from the Delores Barr Weaver Forever Event Fund. All funds raised from this event fully support the JA Girl$ program which has served more than 19,000 girls in Northeast Florida since 2006.