Ben Johnson Center International Paper

Ben D. Johnson Educational Center (BDJ Center) received $15,200 in grant funds from International Paper Red River Mill. The grant to the BDJ Center will be used towards the Legacy Youth Workforce Development program. The program will begin March 2019 and will serve young people ages 16-24 who are out of work and out of school by teaching occupational and life skills training with support to overcome social barriers. The program will utilize our food service business, Legacy Café, as a hands-on training environment.

The Ben D. Johnson Educational Center is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization located in Natchitoches, Louisiana and founded in honor of the late Ben D. Johnson whose holdings represented one of the largest minority-owned enterprises in the state. More importantly though was Mr. Johnson’s legacy of a lifelong commitment to community. The Ben Johnson Educational Center will utilize a social enterprise structure to serve the community with a Youth Workforce Development Program, Legacy Café, Teaching Farm & Green Market and a Shared Community Kitchen/Business Incubator.

“We are grateful for the financial support to address this critical community need,” said Founder and Board Chair Claire Prymus.

The mission of Ben D. Johnson Educational Center is to build community in Natchitoches and give access to social and economic success for all of its residents.

Founded by Claire Prymus in honor of her late uncle, the Ben D. Johnson Educational Center is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with a commitment to building community and providing access and opportunities for residents in Natchitoches, Louisiana.

Pictured above from left are Victoria Lemane, Mill Communications Manager; Dallas Russell, Executive Director BDJ Center; and Mike Carroll, Mill Manager.