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Phillips 66 donates $5 million to build JA Discovery Center  

Phillips 66 is betting big on the future — and it starts with education.  

The company donated $5 million to Junior Achievement of Southeast Texas to help build a nearly 40,000-square-foot experimental learning center — the largest gift to a single nonprofit in the history of Phillips 66.  

The Phillips 66 JA Discovery Center will replace existing facilities and enable the organization to expand programming, with a focus on serving under-resourced communities.  

“The new center will enable young minds to be prepared for the future, opening a world of opportunities,” said Phillips 66 President and CEO Mark Lashier, who serves on the board of Junior Achievement of Southeast Texas. “We invest in the Junior Achievement mission because an educated workforce will drive our economic future and that of the community overall.”  

The new facility will house Junior Achievement’s administrative offices and JA BizTown and JA Finance Park experiences. The concept is powerful — connect what children learn in school with the realities of the business world and everyday life, with a focus on critical-thinking skills and student engagement.  

JA Finance Park includes a classroom-based program that helps build a foundation to guide intelligent financial decisions and correlates educational performance with future earnings power. 

Nearly half a million students have participated in JA’s marquee learning experiences since 1999, when Junior Achievement of Southeast Texas launched the second JA BizTown facility (then Exchange City) in the United States. 

“We are grateful for the commitment of Phillips 66 to enable us to provide deeper and more interactive learning experiences, integrate modern technology and promote greater student engagement,” said Joe Burke, President of Junior Achievement of Southeast Texas. “These programs will equip young people with the foundational skills and mindsets needed for the dynamic labor market of tomorrow.” 

Phillips 66 has a long relationship with Junior Achievement of Southeast Texas, and the $5 million donation is the latest effort to support its innovative mission, said Claudia Kreisle, Manager of Social Impact for Phillips 66. 

“The Phillips 66 JA Discovery Center will help inspire future business and community leaders,” she said. “Education is the key, and we want to help open the door.”