The skanner. (Portland, Or.) 1975-2014, October 17, 2018, Page Page 8, Image 8

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    Page 8 The Skanner Portland & Seattle October 17, 2018
Financial Literacy
Youth Embrace Financial Literacy with Junior Achievement
Students learn about managing their finances in an innovative program in Washington, D.C.
By Barrington M.
Salmon, Special to
the NNPA from The
Washington Informer
walked around a
“mall” at the Junior
nance Park with almost
80 of her classmates,
looking for bargains.
For an allotted amount
of time, she and the other
teens went shopping for
vehicles, homes, loans,
child care, mortgages
and other household-re-
lated items.
Prior to her “shop-
ping expedition,” Penny
sat around a table with
fellow seventh- and
Friendship Blow Pierce
Public Charter School in
Southeast staring intent-
ly — frowning at times
— at a Samsung Galaxy
tablet trying to figure out
how to make her mod-
est salary stretch. The
students, divided into
several smaller groups,
received instructions, re-
searched a family budget
and then wrestled with
how best to spend their
One instruction adult
volunteers gave the
group was to spend or
save all of their income.
Penny, a 13-year-old
eighth-grader, said after
participating in a four-
hour financial literacy
simulation that the ex-
perience gave her a bet-
ter appreciation for the
sacrifices and challenges
her parents make in car-
ing for her and her sib-
For this exercise, Pen-
ny played a butcher with
no children, making
$30,000 a year before
taxes and operating with
a $2,500-a-month budget.
She, unlike several oth-
ers, didn’t have a spouse
to share the financial
“I’m budgeting and sav-
ing, and I have to stick to
the budget. I have to stay
within my budget or end
up with a small amount
of money,” she said with
a smile. “The first time I
came, I didn’t apply what
I learned, but now I will
because it has an impact
on your life.”
Ed Grenier III, presi-
dent and CEO of Junior
Achievement of Greater
Washington, said that
that’s his organization’s
goal. In a society that has
seen widespread eco-
nomic and financial tur-
moil not seen in decades,
Grenier explained, finan-
and work readiness for
middle and high school
kids. “We’ve broadened
the focus. We give them
the fundamental basis to
be successful in a global
I’m budgeting and saving,
and I have to stick to the
budget. I have to stay within
my budget or end up with a
small amount of money
cial literacy has gained
added currency.
“Junior Achievement
was founded in 1919 to
teach kids how busi-
ness works,” he said. “It
evolved into financial lit-
eracy, entrepreneurship
“We recruit adult vol-
unteers from companies
or individuals. We teach
our program through
adult role models who
bring their own expe-
riences. The kids learn
personal budgeting, les-
sons on transportation,
health care, recreation,
dining out. Teaching and
training is a big part of
what we do.”
About 53,000 teens in
the Washington met-
ropolitan region have
gone through the Junior
Achievement program,
and 4 million young peo-
ple in total have been
served. The financial lit-
eracy program is avail-
able in 125 countries,
where 10 million chil-
dren enjoy the program.
In the U.S., 120 chapters
are devoted to teaching
young people to become
comfortable and profi-
cient with budgeting and
finance, debit and credit,
compound interest, tax-
es and investment port-
After the welcome and
introductions by Ju-
nior Achievement staff
in the auditorium, the
big reveal turned out
to be opening two large
wooden sliding doors to
the mall populated with
storefronts of some of
the region and country’s
most recognized busi-
nesses. Some of them
include Clark Construc-
tion, CVS, Omega World
Light, Northern Virginia
Community College and
Monumental Sports En-