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This Nonprofit Proves Financial Literacy Impacts Any Age

By: Jarvis Buckman

· financial literacy,Junior Achievement,Education

“There isn’t enough room in the curriculum,” is the typical reason given in the lack of materials taught regarding personal finance in schools. One non-profit that understands such reasoning but does not look at it as an excuse is bringing financial literacy to classrooms across America. Junior Achievement (JA) has been instilling financial knowledge in students for almost 100 years and their continued efforts highlight just how important it is to talk money at any age. With over 100 chapters nation-wide, JA is reaching students of diverse backgrounds all with the common objective of giving them the keys for successful monetary futures.

In our global economy, which constantly fluctuates, young adults are faced with many questions in regards to economic decision making. Many come to this point in their lives, hit a crossroad and become unsure of which road to take. The hardworking people at Junior Achievement have created programs specifically designed to start talking about finances as young as kindergarten. Although the younger sessions teach basics such as family and community support, high school level students can expect to dive deep into personal finance and exactly what it entails.

One of the most popular programs that JA produces brings middle school students into a fictitious city setting and allows them to run the city for an entire day. The build up to the students coming to run BizTown includes a 6-week curriculum where teachers prepare the students for their upcoming roles. The process includes resume building, interviews, learning about paychecks, and the structure of the community. The students are even given their own debit card where they have the opportunity to buy food and clothing on their lunch breaks. This program is a great way for students to begin understanding the way their days in adulthood will shape out.

In addition to the proactive work done by Junior Achievement in younger students, some of their most impactful work is done with high-school teens. The lessons taught in the 9th-12th grades are ones that are particularly intricate and detailed. Since many of these students will be financially independent within the next few years, JA is giving them the tools for success in the form of; budget building exercises, check writing, insurance terms, and the true costs of everyday items. These tools are extremely useful for students and it goes beyond the classroom learning, giving young people a leg-up when they finally enter the “real world.”

As if the programs this organization has created for school aren’t enough, every single event or lesson taught through JA is conducted by a community volunteer. The professionals who dedicate their time to the organization are truly inspirational and all have the motive to educate students in achieving financial independence. Here is a map of all JA locations around the U.S. if you are interested in getting involved and helping to shape the future for even just one student, sign up today!

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