JA Finance Park
6th - 12th
Prep: Read volunteer guide. Volunteer hours: 7:45am – 2pm.
Calendar of Operations
2018-2019 JA IMPACT
JA Finance Park Program
JA Finance Park presented by The USAA Foundation, is a program dedicated to educating middle and high school students in the basics of financial literacy: budgeting, investing, managing risk - all while reinforcing the value of education and how it affects one’s future.
JA Finance Park
6th - 12th Grade
The JA Finance Program is composed of 13 required teacher-taught, in-class lessons. It culminates in a hands-on budgeting simulation that is implemented either at a JA Finance Park facility, mobile unit, or virtual site. Additional extension activities are available for each lesson topic. Lessons are offered in a traditional classroom presentation format designed for middle-grade students, and in a Project-Based Learning (PBL) format created for high school students. Both provide educators a method of delivery that will best meet the needs of their students.
Most of us learn best when we are able to experience things firsthand. JA Finance Park takes reality-based learning to a new level by placing students into authentic, tangible, real-world scenarios where they take control of their decisions.
JA Finance Park includes three parts:
JA Finance Park will bring together teachers, community and corporate volunteers, and local businesses to prepare students for adult life.
Through hands-on classroom activities and site-based experiences, JA Finance Park students build a foundation for making intelligent, lifelong personal-finance decisions. The program includes hands-on in-school activities that culminate with a visit to the JA Finance Park
Students recognize the fundamental role of income in managing their personal finances and the factors that the decisions they make about education and career will have an impact on their potential income and quality of life.
Savings, Investing & Risk Management
Students explore why saving money is critical, and they compare investments as a part of their overall financial planning. They examine risk and how insurance may help protect savings. They also examine risk and how insurance may help mitigate certain expenses
Credit & Debit
Students compare financial institutions and their services. They weigh the advantages and disadvantages of debit and credit. Students will explore the role of credit scores and credit reporting on personal finances.
Students discover the importance of spending money wisely and recognize a budget as a valuable tool.
The Simulation Debriefing
Students experience the JA Finance Park simulation, where they apply classroom learning by creating a family budget based on a hypothetical life situation
The Day at JA Finance Park
"Who will I become?"
Upon entering the park, each student is given a unique "life situation" - a personal profile with the details of their adult life like the one on the right.
The Budget Challenge
"How much money will I need?"
After students receive their life situation, they determine their net monthly income (NMI) and apply an appropriate range of spending for their family in per-determined business categories.
Students will then visit each of the 19 businesses to buy a car, shop for groceries, purchase a home or rent property, buy insurance, establish savings accounts, make investments and donate to charity.
Students must also budget for unforeseen expenses, such as mechanical problems with their car. It is during this shopping time that students realize choosing to buy a brand new car rather than a used car may mean living in a small apartment instead of a home; or spending more money on clothing may mean limiting your social activities for the month.
At the end of the day, students must have balanced spending in each category so their expense do not exceed their income.
Job Title: Project Manager
Annual Salary: $63,00
Marital Status: Married with two children: girl age 8/boy age 5
Monthly Taxes: $1,234, Social Security: $326, Medicare: $79
Other: Drive 22 miles round-trip to work each day
Employment background: After graduating from high school, you joined the Navy and earned your bachelor's degree in engineering. You are fortunate that you do not have any outstanding student loans. While you were in the Navy, you worked on large-scale projects. You will need a master's degree to move up in your company or secure a new job with better pay.
JA Finance Park Volunteers in High Demand
To ensure a successful visit, we need 10-20 volunteers daily to provide guidance to students as they plan their budgets. Volunteers will need to:
Commit to volunteer from 8:00 AM - 2:00 PM on the day of the site visit. Training will be provided from 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM and students will arrive shortly thereafter. This training provides volunteers with the opportunity to understand the in-class program as well as the on-site schedule and procedures. Volunteers gain firsthand knowledge and experience about their role in assisting the students.
Share your life experience with students at JA Finance Park. Each volunteer will help students build a foundation for making intelligent, lifelong, personal financial decisions by coaching a few students through the process of developing a budget.
To volunteer or to get your organization involved, please contact Martin Longoria at 210.490.2007 x105.
JA Finance Park is Centrally Located in North San Antonio
JA Finance Park presented by The USAA Foundation is located at 403 East Ramsey, Suite 101 in San Antonio.
Junior Achievement of South Texas would like to thank the following sponsors for supporting the JA Finance Park program.
With their contribution, JA can ensure students grasp the implications of their "financial decisions" as they work towards a balanced budget. The program also allows these young people to experience the challenges of making real-life financial decisions that will lay the foundation for how they approach their financial responsibilities in the future.
Curriculum and Texas Correlation
6th to 8th Grade Programs
9th to 12th Grade Programs
JA Finance Park