The Harrisonburg Jersey Mike’s Subs made a $6,225 donation to On the Road Collaborative, a local nonprofit organization that exposes middle schoolers to after school programs in the hope of instilling career interests in children at a young age on Wednesday evening.
When a Jersey Mike’s store opens, the new store donates its sales to a nonprofit or charity of their choosing for the first five days it’s open. The customer donates $2 in exchange for a free sub.
“I was a part of a youth empowerment program while growing up so this means a lot to me,” Charles “Mookie” Golden, the co-owner of the Harrisonburg Jersey Mike’s shop, said.
The fundraiser gathered members of On the Road Collaborative as well as some students from Skyline Middle School, where the organization hosts its programs.
On the Road Collaborative was founded by local resident Brent Holsinger two years ago. Holsinger was previously a member of the out-of-school program Beyond the Bell before it shut down due to lack of funding, according to the On the Road Collaborative website.
“Our mission is to set middle school kids on the road to college and a career,” Holsinger said.
According to Holsinger, the program hosts ten week-long projects that focus on different careers. Local professionals have helped teach the children about careers in real estate, law, drama, fine arts and the environment.
The after-school program works four days a week from 3:15 to 5:30 p.m. during the school year. They have 15 staff members working with 100 children from Skyline.
Shaquela Corbin, an AmeriCorps service member, loves working for the program.
“The fact that [Jersey Mike’s] picked On the Road is awesome because it gets our name out there,” Corbin said.
Diane Foucar-Szocki, the coordinator for grants, contracts and special projects in the college of education at JMU, thinks that what Jersey Mike’s is doing is “fabulous.”
“The program makes such a big difference to the kids and their families,” Foucar-Scocki said. “It demonstrates the power of partnership and connection and success.”
After the donation was given to the organization on a big Jersey Mike’s Subs custom check, Holsinger joined his friends and team members, including Harrisonburg mayor and On the Road Collaborative program director Deanna Reed, in eating the store’s subs.
“It’s all about exposing middle school kids to a wide variety of career paths,” Holsinger said.
Contact Ingrid Basheda at email@example.com.