Going for the Gold:
Local Leaders Discuss a Shared Vision at Conversations
On August 25, the leaders of three institutions came together at the Danforth Center’s Conversations event to discuss a new enterprise that will change the lives of young people in our region.
The three leaders were Dr. Jim Carrington, president and CEO of the Danforth Center, Robert J. Jones, PhD, chancellor of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Olympic legend and founder of the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation.
More than 260 people attended the program with an additional audience watching via livestream. The evening’s discussion, moderated by Sarah Fenske, executive editor of Euclid Media Group, revolved around the partnership between the panelists’ respective institutions and their push to empower students across St. Louis through a new, groundbreaking education initiative.
Being partners with Danforth—they took a chance investing in us, coming across that river and investing in our young people, and trying to make a difference.
Olympian; Founder, Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation
Recognizing that “education is everything,” as Jackie Joyner-Kersee said, the Danforth Center, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation joined forces to establish the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation Food, Agriculture, and Nutrition (JJK FAN) Innovation Center. Located in East St. Louis, this new enterprise is dedicated to teaching young people about health, nutrition, agriculture, and STEM through engaging and equitable lessons and opportunities.
This project is the most important, exciting thing I’ve been involved in in 43 years of higher education.
Robert J. Jones, PhD,
Chancellor, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Reaching New Heights
JJK FAN was founded on the idea that the key to transforming the community is by empowering the individual. That’s why the unique programs at JJK FAN won’t just educate, they will also inspire. Through hands-on research experiences developed the Danforth Center, JJK FAN will equip young people with the skills, knowledge, and resources they need to succeed in life – creating pathways for underprivileged students that lead to higher education, meaningful careers, and a stronger St. Louis region.
We’re here to deliver on a vision that Bill Danforth set forth for us, and that’s to make an impact on the St. Louis region.
Jim Carrington, PhD,
President and CEO, Danforth Center
Watch the Event
Help Create Opportunity in our Community
As part of our mission to improve the human condition through plant science, the Danforth Center works to inspire the scientists of tomorrow by providing STEM education opportunities for students across our region. By donating to the Danforth Center as part of our Grow Challenge fundraiser, you can help ensure these programs continue and change the lives of young people in St Louis. Give today.