JA Finance Park program invests in youth now so they can navigate the financial waters in the future. An experiential, real-life simulation, JA Finance Park first provides a series of lessons in the classroom to middle school students where they learn about all aspects of personal finance including learning about balancing a family budget, interest rates, how education affects their earning potential, and how saving today can affect their future. Then, students come to JA Finance Park at the Bill Poe Family JA Center to put their new knowledge into action.
During this half-day experience, students assume randomly assigned family and income scenarios and visit businesses to gather information for their personal financial decision-making. They utilize banking services, purchase housing, transportation, insurance, furnishings, health care, and other expenses, as well as make investment decisions. Assisted by volunteer mentors, students work to balance their personal budget and learn to make choices that support their future goals. This hands-on experience lays a solid foundation for students’ future decision-making.