Four times each year, the team at Junior Achievement of Greater Kansas City is able to zoom out and reflect on the impacts of our daily efforts through our Quarterly Impact Reports. This process gives us the opportunity to 1. Examine the impacts we’re having through our curriculum, both in local schools and in the JAGKC workspaces, and 2. Explore how our work is influencing external conversations about economic mobility and career readiness.
We are an organization focused on inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in a global economy, which means that we are especially interested in what financial literacy and personal finance data looks like both inside and outside of Kansas City:
- In 2019, 53% of college students in the United States reported that they are least prepared to manage money, compared to any other challenge they may face in undergraduate education.
- Across the U.S. today, 78% of adults live paycheck to paycheck, and only 33% of families have any emergency savings set aside.
- A 2018 study of financial outcomes for young adults ages 18 to 22 found that students who completed financial literacy programming in high school had better credit scores.
While there are many nuanced conclusions that can be pulled from this research, one thing is very clear: Financial literacy has a positive impact on future financial decisions and financial confidence.
Here at JA of Greater Kansas City, we’re proud of how our financial literacy curriculum and related programming are helping Kansas City youth create their own choice-filled futures by…
- Igniting passion within youth and cultivating entrepreneurial mindsets in order to spark their economic development and eventual economic mobility. Learn more about JA BizTown, presented by CommunityAmerica Credit Union, an opportunity for students to learn and grow in a simulated Kansas City.
- Increasing access and opportunity through enhanced classroom experiences with 3DE by Junior Achievement. We’re re-engineering high school education to be more relevant, experiential, and authentically connected to the complexities of the real world.
- Bringing JA to your classrooms in order to support academic communities that wouldn’t otherwise be able to access this level of financial education or community mentorship.
- Creating at-home tools that supplement other JA programming by reinforcing student confidence, public speaking skills, and the ability to take initiative.
This quarter alone, we had 92.5% of teachers observe their students demonstrating and applying real world knowledge – and experiences – as a result of their JA lessons. We also saw the percentage of students who think it’s important to use a personal budget grow from only 49.5% to more than 82%!
These are the exact types of targeted interventions that help young people disrupt intergenerational poverty by increasing their economical know-how, developing their understanding of financial behaviors, and expanding their workplace skill sets.
As our students progress through their education, we are confident that we are helping build a future where the talent pipeline is filled with adults who are confident in their ability to make healthy financial decisions.