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Shop Rat Foundation receives $100,000 grant from Dream Maker Fund to support Robotics programs



JACKSON, Michigan, September 20, 2021 - The Jackson Community Foundation’s Board of Directors are pleased to announce a $100,000 grant from the Dream Maker Fund, a component fund of the Foundation, to support local robotics programs in Jackson County. The program will be facilitated by the Shop Rat Foundation with support from the College and Career Access Center (CCAC).

“Our organization is beyond grateful to receive the Dream Maker grant, as this opportunity represents a leap in fulfilling our organizational mission to ignite interest in manufacturing careers among youth through innovation and outreach. The launch of school based robotics programming, that this grant funds, will enable us to reach thousands of Jackson County youth,” said Kelly Burr Kofflin, Executive Director of the Shop Rat Foundation. “This pilot program will equip our students with a valuable skill- set that is directly applicable to the jobs of tomorrow. Manufacturing is vital to our local economy and through this work we are not only supporting our students' futures but our local companies as well.”

"We are so excited that the Dream Maker grant will serve Jackson County students enrolled in grades 3 - 8, providing STEM opportunities that correlate with FIRST Robotics. This valuable program, through the Shop Rat Foundation, and in partnership with the CCAC, will be instrumental in creating college aspiration and career awareness. We take great pride in the college and career services we provide to Jackson’s 13 Connected Community School districts. This additional resource will strengthen the aspirational pillar of the CCAC’s mission by including our youngest dreamers out there.


We are pleased that the Shop Rat Foundation has been afforded this opportunity to provide accessible robotics programs, and can't wait to see where they take it and what opportunities this new partnership will present to our community. We are thankful to the Poppe Family for dreaming big with Jackson!" said Nancy Peters-Lewis, Executive Director of the CCAC.

“The Poppe family continues to show a deep commitment to their hometown of Jackson as evidenced by the work they are doing through the Dream Maker fund,” said Monica Moser, President and CEO of the Jackson Community Foundation. “This grant not only provides valuable resources to our students but has the potential to create a more skilled workforce in Jackson County.”

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The mission of the Jackson Community Foundation is to connect people and resources to causes that build and strengthen our community. For Jackson. For good. For ever. For more information about the Jackson Community Foundation, go to www.jacksoncf.org or our Facebook page!

The Shop Rat Foundation facilitates educational programming focused on manufacturing and professional trades careers. For more information, visit www.shoprat.org

The College and Career Access Center has been assisting both traditional and non-traditional students in attaining their education and career goals since 2008. For more information, visit www.jcisd.org/CCAC


JCF: Monica Moser, Ph: (517) 787-1321, Email: mmoser@jacksoncf.org


Shop Rat: Kelly Burr Kofflin, Ph: (517) 769-2100, Email: kburr.shoprat@gmail.com

CCAC: Nancy Peters-Lewis Ph: (517) 990-0671, Email: nancy@jacksoncac.org

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