At BridgeView, people come first, every time. That means we are deeply invested in our community, looking for ways to support and encourage those around us. Every quarter we look forward to our next BridgeView Karma Day, a time where we can come alongside one of our local non-profits or charities and help them in their mission. This quarter, our team partnered with Junior Achievement – Rocky Mountain, a unique and needed organization that teaches students necessary life skills that will pave the way for a bright future.
Why We Support Junior Achievement
Since 1919, Junior Achievement’s (JA) purpose has been to inspire and prepare young people to thrive in a global community. They are committed to providing vital education that enables a successful future – teaching financial responsibility, budgeting, critical thinking skills, career readiness, and entrepreneurial efforts. Too many kids lack training in these areas.
To meet these needs, JA provides in-school and off-site programs for students, starting in kindergarten and going all the way through 12th grade. These hands-on programs are led and delivered by volunteers in the community, many of whom have corporate experience and can provide a real-world perspective to prepare them for future careers at no cost to the schools. JA has three core competencies they teach their students:
- Entrepreneurship – identify business opportunities and applying efforts and resources to create new business endeavors
- Financial Literacy – gain a greater knowledge of economic concepts and terms for local and global enterprises and personal money management.
- Work Readiness – organize personal characteristics and goals to match needs presented in the workplace
How BridgeView Denver Helped JA
One specific event JA hosts is called JA Finance Park. Volunteers immerse students in a reality-based decision-making process that addresses aspects of individual family budgeting: housing, transportation, food, utilities, healthcare, investments, philanthropy, and banking. Each student is presented with a unique life situation that identifies the details of their adult persona, from marital status to education to the number of their dependents to salaries.
For our team of volunteers, the day began with training from the JA organization, and then we each had a group of students to mentor and assist. The students used their tablets with a preloaded budget to navigate their scenario and plan accordingly with their allotted finances. The program challenged students to think like entrepreneurs and covered everything from budgeting to practicing interview skills to investing.
“This program teaches kids how to think like entrepreneurs and take ownership of their choices, empowering them with the knowledge and tools to be financially responsible adults. The program covers a number of areas – everything from taxes, budgeting, interview skills, investing, and how to apply for loans,” mentions Courtney Truesdel, Associate VP of Business Development.
“I have a particular interest in the program as my three kids are often asking when they will use certain elements they learn in school. While school is teaching them the fundamentals and how to be critical thinkers, JA complements this nicely by teaching them life skills not taught in school. These skills often tap into the current values of our kids, meaning if they want to buy a certain car, video game, or attend a concert, they understand how much they would need to make, save, and budget to do these things. They get to have choices, but all those choices come with different costs. By providing this financial education to our youth, we are setting them up to be accountable, empowered, and confident adults.”
“Our BridgeView team did an outstanding job of jumping right in to help these students,” stated Tim Glennie, Managing Partner & Founder. “We have always been a people-first organization, so to spend a day supporting the leaders of tomorrow was a joy.”
If you want to donate or volunteer with JA, you can find out more information here.