The DeKalb County Community Foundation is happy to announce the Friends of JAMS Operating Reserve Fund. This new Agency Fund provides Friends of JAMS with financial reserves for emergencies or significant expenses.
“Establishing a Fund with the Community Foundation in this way allows nonprofit organizations like Friends of JAMS the opportunity to benefit from a dedicated source of revenue while making donors even more aware of their mission,” said Foundation Executive Director Dan Templin.
The Jane Adeny Memorial School for Girls (JAMS) started in 2011 through the time and attention of two Northern Illinois University faculty members, Teresa Wasonga and Andrew Otieno. JAMS is named in honor of Jane Adeny, Teresa’s mother. Jane only completed the equivalent of third grade but ensured all her children finished high school. The Friends of JAMS nonprofit organization was established in 2013 to support the school and increase awareness of the importance of secondary education for girls in the developing world. Friends of JAMS is headquartered in Sycamore, Illinois, and most of the board members are from DeKalb County.
The mission of JAMS is to provide a transformative learning environment where everybody has an opportunity to grow with justice and integrity. The school offers an education “good enough for the richest, open to the poorest.” In Kenya, secondary education is not free, and families with limited resources often cannot send their children to high school or send just their sons. Many of the girls who attend JAMS are orphans or from impoverished families. Friends of JAMS provides scholarships to make high school possible for young women.
The school enrolls approximately 165 students each year. As of 2022, JAMS has graduated over 200 girls and has a 100% graduation rate. Through the generosity of donors, Friends of JAMS provides scholarships to individual students and funding for campus infrastructure, learning materials, and teacher professional development. In addition to the standard curriculum, JAMS also enables students to develop practical and entrepreneurial skills through on-campus microenterprises, including a dairy, a poultry project, a bakery, and a greenhouse. These projects provide food for students and skills they will be able to use in adult life and careers.
Most of the dollars raised by Friends of JAMS goes directly to the school to support its educational mission. Scholarships are the primary goal, but they have also raised money for a science building, a computer lab, a library, and other needs of the campus.
“We established the Friends of JAMS Operating Reserve Fund to set aside some financial resources for emergencies or unexpected large expenses that may arise,” said Diana Swanson, Friends of JAMS board president. “As the campus ages, we also need to plan for maintenance of the buildings. JAMS is a long-term commitment, and we must be sustainable for long-term success.”
Donations to the Friends of JAMS Operating Reserve Fund can be made online at jamskenya.org or sent directly to Friends of JAMS – P.O. Box 292, Sycamore, IL 60178.
For questions or to start your own charitable Fund at the DeKalb County Community Foundation, please contact Dan Templin at 815-748-5383 or firstname.lastname@example.org.