San Antonio Teens Receive Personal Finance Skills with JA of South Texas and AT&T
Contribution offers at-risk schools the opportunity to implement JA Finance Park® program, giving students opportunity to make real-life financial decisions
San Antonio, TX — JA of South Texas is bringing important financial literacy lessons to at-risk students in San Antonio as part of a contribution from AT&T through its AT&T Aspire initiative. Seventh and eighth grade students at Leal MS and Anson Jones MS will experience the 13-week JA Finance Park® program, which helps students build a foundation of personal finance skills through in-class learning and an experiential real-life simulation.
JA Finance Park® begins in the classroom, with teacher-led lessons about topics like income, saving and debit and credit. The program culminates in a “real-life” simulation onsite at the Capital One/Junior Achievement Finance Park. The reality-based simulation gives students the opportunity t o apply classroom learning by creating a family budget based on hypothetical life situations assigned to the students, such as job, salary, and family situation.
“So many of our teens haven’t learned how to properly manage their finances, either because they haven’t had those conversations with their parents or haven’t had access to financial literacy programs in school” says Linda Rimer, JA of South Texas President. “With JA Finance Park®, we aren’t just telling students how to manage budgets; we’re putting them into the situation and asking them to make tough decisions.”
At JA Finance Park®, the students assume “real-life” personas and learn how to develop and balance a personal budget that includes such expenditures including housing and food, savings, transportation, entertainment, health care, child care, utilities, clothing and education.
“It is important to give every student an equal opportunity to learn basic financial skills like budgeting, managing credit and understanding a salary,” says Patricia Boehnlein of AT&T. “Watching that moment when it ‘clicks’ for a student is what makes this such an important investment – seeing when they understand the tradeoff for buying those basketball season tickets is that their family may not be able to buy groceries that month. Students walk away with a much better understanding of what sacrifices their parents make for them and what it means to be a financially responsible adult.”
Established in 2003, JA Finance Park® is one of Junior Achievement USA's most successful programs, and more than 1 million students across the United States have gone through the experiential learning program since it first began.
The collaboration between JA of South Texas and AT&T is a continuation of their joint commitment to provide supplemental learning experiences that help young people in the community develop the competence, confidence and character to make smart academic and economic decisions. AT&T volunteers assist in the delivery of JA Finance Park® by connecting with students to help them discover their passions and potential. This collaboration is part of AT&T Aspire, the company’s signature philanthropic initiative to promote student success in school and beyond.
See what students and executives are saying about JA Finance Park®:
About JA of South Texas
Junior Achievement is the largest and fastest-growing business and economics education organization in the world. This year Junior Achievement of South Texas will reach approximately 97,000 students with the help of more than 4,000 classroom volunteers.
About Philanthropy & Social Innovation at AT&T
AT&T is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities and improving lives. Through its community initiatives, AT&T has a long history of investing in projects that create learning opportunities; promote academic and economic achievement; or address community needs. AT&T Aspire is AT&T’s signature philanthropic initiative that drives innovation in education by bringing diverse resources to bear on the issue including funding, technology, employee volunteerism, and mentoring. Through Aspire, we’ve passed the $250 million mark on our plan to invest $350 million in education from 2008-2017.
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