Ben D. Johnson Educational Center (BDJ Center) has been awarded $2,148 in community grant funds from Walmart. The grant to the BDJ Center will support the Legacy Youth Workforce Development Program. The purpose of the program is to help young people ages 17-24 enter and remain in the workforce.

Located in the Ben Johnson Auditorium Complex at 400 MLK Drive, the BDJ Center offers a 16-week program that teaches job readiness, financial literacy, nutrition, and foodservice skills training. Upon completion students earn their ServSafe and Legacy Foodservice and Hospitality Training Program Certifications. Students earn a stipend while learning and are offered breakfast and lunch daily.

In addition to the Legacy Youth Workforce Development Program, the BDJ Center also serves the community through its social enterprise, Legacy Café and the BDJ Garden. The Legacy Café is open for business and serves breakfast (7:30AM – 10:30AM) and lunch (10:30AM – 2PM) Monday through Friday.

Claire Prymus, Founder and Board Chair, “We are grateful to Walmart for their support as we work to fulfill our mission of Transforming Lives and Building Community.”

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 mission to build community in Natchitoches and give access to social and economic success for all of its residents.

Pictured: JoAnna Cooper, BDJ Center Executive Director and Carla Mercier, Walmart General Manager