JA Partner of the Month: Bristol Wealth Group
Published: Thursday, 25 Feb 2021
For their significant contributions to the JA SPARK Program, for their generous charitable support, and for the outstanding efforts of their President & CEO Louis Ricciardi … we are excited to announce Bristol Wealth Group as our JA Partner of the Month!
Bristol Wealth Group’s partnership has played a key role in helping us inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy, and their President & Chief Executive Officer Louis Ricciardi’s long-time support has had a significant impact on the organization.
In 2016, after realizing a need in the community, Lou and Junior Achievement of Southern Massachusetts’ President at the time, Caroline Paradis, co-founded the JA SPARK Program: a free program for middle school girls focused on leadership development and entrepreneurial thinking. Due to its success, the SPARK Program has since evolved from a week-long summer camp to a two-year program which offers a unique blend of financial literacy, career readiness, entrepreneurship, and leadership education through hands-on, engaging activities. The program includes a week-long residential summer experience at Massachusetts Maritime Academy the first summer, a week-long residential summer experience at Bridgewater State University the second summer, and quarterly workshops throughout each school year.
Bristol Wealth Group is a leading sponsor of the SPARK Program, helping make this highly impactful experience possible. Lou of Bristol Wealth Group has also sponsored and led several SPARK workshops and organized SPARK Camp experiences such as the Massachusetts Maritime Academy Ship Simulator and a field trip to Heritage Museums & Gardens.
Following the two-year program, many SPARK participants have reached out to us looking for ways to stay involved with Junior Achievement, so this year we worked with Lou to create a next step for SPARK Alumni to continue developing their entrepreneurial and leadership skills called the SPARK Leadership Academy. Adapted to be effective in a virtual environment, the program includes opportunities for SPARK Alumni to attend virtual workshops, network with each other, learn from local leaders, and create a real business through the JA Company Program. The SPARK Leadership Academy has been generously funded by Bristol Wealth Group.
Lou is also serving as a volunteer Business Mentor for the SPARK Alumni student company within the JA Company Program, which empowers high school students to solve a problem in their community by building and managing their own startup business. Their company, Dream Space, is an interior design company dedicated to transforming customers’ spaces into someplace they never want to leave. Through a web-based design process, customers can share their favorite themes and interests as well as the dimensions of their room, and Dream Space will provide a personal design plan and purchase recommendations.
“The leadership and generosity that Lou and Bristol Wealth Group have brought to Junior Achievement has been a game-changer for our organization and the youth we serve across the region. Their support makes the JA SPARK Program possible, and this year helped make possible a whole new program for SPARK Alumni. We are especially grateful for the countless hours of engagement that Lou brings to these community efforts, always going above and beyond to make these programs great and provide memorable experiences for local youth that will have a lasting impact on their lives.” – Jeffrey Pelletier, Junior Achievement of Southern Massachusetts
With deep gratitude for their support of Junior Achievement’s mission and the JA SPARK Program, we are proud to honor Bristol Wealth Group and their President & CEO Louis Ricciardi as our JA Partner of the Month!