Financial literacy efforts reward the students and the volunteer!

hendrikson p 1By Paula Hendrickson, CFP®, C(k)P™, Director Retirement Plan Consulting and Retirement Advisor Council Member

I worked for an organization that was passionate about financial literacy for elementary through high school aged children. We created a relationship with Junior Achievement and committed to a specific amount of time to be donated by our employees each year. I volunteered for three years in a row to teach a classroom of children; third, fifth and eight grades. Junior Achievement does a great job of putting together curriculum that is age appropriate and keep the children engaged and learning about finances. From creating efficiencies with manufacturing – an assembly line putting together ball point pens – balancing a checkbook, creating a budget, drafting a business plan to understanding world economies.

It was so rewarding and the letters that I received following that day were so heartwarming. It gave me as much of a sense of accomplishment as winning a large retirement engagement. It was exhausting and I give teachers so much respect for keeping children engaged all day, every day. I only had one day to do it and it was tougher than presenting to the most difficult investment or buying committees.

There so many ways to volunteer other than by committing to a full day. Junior Achievement for example, has other programs that ask for a commitment of one hour per week for 6-8 weeks. So many ways for the community to get involved in this very important initiative… driving financial awareness for our future generations of leaders.