Connect with the Community: Junior Achievement
Service to the community is an essential part of the business world, and should be an essential part of your personal financial world too. Why? It’s essential because if you know how to handle your finances and how to control your money so it doesn’t control you, you have a great opportunity to teach those who don’t. Indeed, in the case of school children, I’d say it’s more than an opportunity: it’s a social responsibility.
You see, no one’s teaching them. Their parents don’t know- I think the rather staggering credit card debt, bankruptcy, and foreclosure statistics of the last half decade prove that well enough. And the public schools most kids attend aren’t teaching it either. They weren’t a few years ago when I was still in high school, certainly, and I’ve no reason to think that has changed.
Junior Achievement (www.ja.org/) is an organization dedicated to this cause, and a personal favorite of mine. They’re a nation-wide non-profit organization that goes into schools from Kindergarten through 12th Grade and presents age-appropriate, fun learning experiences. The material ranges from learning how to write checks to the basics of how to work at and own a business to a simulated stock market challenge. It’s all volunteer based, and all JA asks for is your time and experience as a business professional. So if you or your company are looking for an opportunity to give back to the community, please check this out. The impact you have could last decades.
In the long term I think we, as businesspeople, also have a definite economic incentive for teaching personal finance to kids. Namely, business will benefit as they grow up to become more fiscally responsible, and therefore wealthier, than they otherwise might have been. Not to mention more reliable employees. Business benefits, the community benefits, and most importantly the kids get a better chance at future success- all for a few hours’ time. Seems like a good deal to me.
Thanks for reading,