Volunteers work with students at the JA Discovery Center in January. Charmain Z. Brackett/Augusta Good News
Volunteers work with students at the JA Discovery Center in January. Charmain Z. Brackett/Augusta Good News

Junior Achievement empowers Augusta students during financial capabilities month

Bank of America volunteers partnered with Junior Achievement to teach area seventh graders essential financial skills as part of financial capabilities months.

With a focus on practical knowledge and hands-on experience, the training sessions through JA’s Finance Park programming equips students with the tools that they need to make informed financial decisions throughout their lives, according to a news release from Junior Achievement. Serving as business mentors.

“After in-class lessons on subjects like budgeting and credit scores, students are assigned a random education level, salary, and family scenario,” said Ashley Whitaker, Development Director for JA in the CSRA. “They go through a simulation visiting businesses that represent the major line items in a budget —housing, utilities, food, etc.—and work toward providing for themselves and their families within their assigned means. Throughout the day they apply for car and home loans and discover the impact a credit score has on financial well-being. Volunteers guide students through the simulation and share their life experiences to bring authenticity to the exercise.”

Read more: JA Discovery Center offers middle schoolers real-world lessons in business and finance

JA Finance Park provides seventh graders the opportunity to experience their personal financial futures first-hand. Guided by an assigned “life situation,” students participate in an immersive simulation that enables them to develop skills to successfully navigate today’s complex economic environment and discover how decisions today can impact tomorrow, the news release said.

Financial literacy is a crucial aspect of personal and professional success, yet many young adults enter the workforce without a strong foundation in financial management. The programs offered by JA and Bank of America seek to bridge this gap by providing comprehensive training in areas such as budgeting, saving, investing and understanding credit.

“Partnering with Junior Achievement of Georgia and their Finance Park Program is part of our approach to driving economic opportunity in Augusta,” said Marissa Smith, market executive, Bank of America Augusta. “The hands-on experience for students creates an impact that will carry them into their future to help build key financial skills for success.”

JA needs additional volunteers for this program.

Volunteers have the opportunity to “make a meaningful impact, share expertise and help others build a solid financial foundation for a brighter future,” the release said.

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