Junior Achievement of Erie on Thursday night kicked off their annual fundraising campaign.
A group of local business leaders gathered at the Manufacturers and Business Association to show their support. Junior Achievement helps local students learn about business practices, work readiness and how to handle finances.
Madeline Ciesielski, a senior at Collegiate Academy, spoke to the crowd of donors and potential donors about the benefits of the program. She said that Junior Achievement has really opened her eyes to a career in business.
"You don't get it in a lot of normal, everyday classrooms," said Ciesielski. "We have everything at Collegiate, like economics, but it doesn't teach you a lot about actual business practices. So this organization is really great with helping us with anything about that."
After Thursday's Kick-Off, the group is now closer to their goal of $165,000.