Making a Difference in Young People’s Lives
In a time where the economy is on the minds of many people, Newmont is helping non-profit organizations teach students personal financial literacy and responsibility. Junior Achievement’s (JA) Finance Park in Denver exposes inner-city high school students to the concept of budgeting and the relationship between income and responsible spending.
Recently, a team of more than 25 Newmont volunteers spent two days assisting at JA’s Finance Park, assisting approximately 250 students from the Denver metro area.
Chris Howson, Vice President and Controller, spearheaded Newmont’s involvement this year.
“I wanted to find a way to give back to the community, and in particular, young people,” said Howson. “Finance Park fulfills JA’s mission to teach kids financial literacy and better prepare them for the business world.”
Through a computer simulation, students learn about all the expenses that are deducted from a paycheck and get the opportunity to budget what money is left. This exercise helps them make decisions about what they will, or will not, buy. It becomes apparent rather quickly that more income leads to easier decision-making.
“What it drives home for them is the reality that a better-paying job will make their lives better and the road to get there is education,” Howson said. “The other important thing they realize is that it is attainable for them if they work hard and stay in school. Likewise, it will ultimately help make Denver a more prosperous city and a stronger community with a better educated workforce.”
Junior Achievement’s programs benefit thousands of students in Denver and across the globe through financial literacy training and interaction with local professionals. Participating schools most often serve low-income families.
In addition to providing financial support to JA during the 2012-2013 school year, Newmont volunteers served as advisors for JA’s Stock Market Challenge and helped high school students think through their investment decisions. In this program, small teams simulate building a stock portfolio and executing trades. They compete on the value of their portfolio’s return. Volunteers also participated in JA for a Day teaching younger students basic economics (wants vs. needs) and how a bank account works.
“Junior Achievement is one of the easiest ways to make a positive impact on the young people of metro Denver,” said Newmont employee LauraLee Koel. “It is an opportunity to change their future outlook, helps to produce confidence to achieve their goals and be successful in life, and provides a glimpse into the importance of making a positive contribution to their community through business opportunities.”