Spectrum Junior Achievement

Spectrum CEO Teaches Middle Schoolers Financial Literacy

This school year, Spectrum, Inc. was proud to participate in Junior Achievement’s Economics for Success program. Junior Achievement is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping prepare young people for their economic futures by teaching skills such as work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy.

Spectrum’s president and CEO, Danielle Ross, taught six sessions to two 7th grade classes at Independence Middle School in Independence, Ohio. The goals of the Economics for Success program are for students, after participating, to be able to:

  • Explore their skills, interests, values, and the world of work to make informed
    education, career, and life decisions.
  • Develop their knowledge of personal finance to apply strong
    financial-management skills regardless of income.

Enriching Children’s Lives

Ross says giving back to her community through volunteer work is important to her and it is rewarding to watch children develop skills to help them negotiate real-world situations. She recalls, “We did many fun activities where the students had to decide, for example, if I live in a house that costs x amount, then I can only afford a certain type of vehicle for my transportation. Living within our means is an important life skill!”

Keeping the attention of 7th graders is no easy task, but Ross was impressed with how the Junior Achievement program incorporated fun and interesting activities into the curriculum. “Playing a game can make anything fun…” says the CEO. “I was even able to make learning about credit scores fun!”

Inspiring The Future

A major benefit of the program is that it provides children with strong role models from the business world. By sharing their real world experiences, volunteers are able to offer insight and inspiration to students and inform them of opportunities at an early age.

Ross explains, “As the saying goes, it takes a village. I shared information about my career with the class, and I think it is important to normalize seeing women in leadership roles and running companies.”

She added, “If there is only one thing they remember from their time with me, I hope it is that our values determine the metric by which we measure ourselves and what it means to be successful. Whether a person values money, time spent with family, or the ability to travel, success looks different for everyone.”

Junior Achievement USA operates in 209,651 classrooms and after-school locations throughout the country and has 109 Area Offices in all 50 states. JA Worldwide serves more than 10 million students in over 100 countries.

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