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   Center Hours:

Monday thru Friday
7:00am - 7:00pm

Center Summer Hours:
Monday thru Friday
7am - 12pm Summer Camp
1pm - 7pm Summer Programs

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JJKF History

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The organization that is known today as the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation was created in 1988 by Jackie Joyner-Kersee as a grant-making organization supporting the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Gold Medal Scholarship program.  In 1986, during a visit to her hometown of East St. Louis, Illinois, Jackie learned of the closing of the Mary Brown Community Center, a major resource for youth development, leadership, athletic, and other recreational activities since 1968.  The Center’s impact on Jackie had been considerable, and, in her mind, a key ingredient in the development of her own character.  It helped create the foundation for her significant athletic successes in track and field and in life.  Upon learning that the Center was closed, Jackie asked, “What do the youth in the city do now?”

The Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation remained based in Los Angeles from 1988 until 1995 when it moved to the St. Louis area.  The Kersee’s saw the Foundation as a broad-based anchor in the St. Louis region, able to provide leadership on many fronts.  They set a goal to build a youth center and develop programming to serve youth in the East. St. Louis community and joined with a local effort to turn Jackie’s dream into a reality.

 Under Jackie’s leadership, the Foundation raised over $12 million from a variety of corporate, foundation and government sources and from scores of committed local individuals.  The result was the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Center and an endowment.  With an initial cost of nearly $10 million, the Center was constructed on a 37-acre site adjacent to Interstate 64 and Kenneth Hall Park in East St. Louis.  It officially opened on March 1, 2000.


    Guiding Principles

    • Character and Leadership

    • Dignity

    • Talent

    • Teamwork

    • Pride

    • Nurturing Environment

    • Higher Standards

    Foundation Initiatives


    • Safe Havens

    • A Healthy Beginning

    • Education and Marketability

    • Adult Assistance on Behalf of Youth

    • Community Building (Philanthropy and Volunteerism)

    • Character Building

    • Lifelong Physical Fitness


Our Mission:

”To provide youth, adults and families with the resources to improve their quality of life and to enhance communities worldwide, with special attention directed to East St. Louis, Illinois.”

JJKF encourages you to reach out for kids & contribute to a great cause

Donate to the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation

Why support JJKF? Because we care for kids.

Donations to JJKF help provide care to Many Kids who need strong family values and educational structure in there lives.  JJKF and its member organizations offer education and hands-on services that can improve quality of life for kids in need and their families. Your support is critical to make a difference in a child's life at our center.

Thank you for caring.

JJKF is a not-for-profit 501 (c) (3) organization. Donations are tax deductible.

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