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 amiya Penny walked around a “mall” at the Junior Achievement Fi- 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 eighth-graders from 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 money. C 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- lings. 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 load. “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 economy. 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- folios. 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 Travel, Volkswagen, Goodwill, Dominion Light, Northern Virginia Community College and Monumental Sports En- tertainment.