American students attend 13 years of K-12 schooling and, in theory, should be equipped for adult life when they graduate from high school. They should know how to manage an income, pay their bills, set money aside and responsibly use credit, among other skills. But studies have shown that 1/3 of Americans don’t pay their bills on time and 2 in 5 adults gave themselves a failing or near-failing grade on personal finance. Understanding that these real-world financial skills are imperative to success, KPMG works closely with Junior Achievement USA® (JA) to help teach personal financial concepts to students early in their academic life.
The collaboration with JA is a critical component of KPMG’s Corporate Responsibility strategy to support education from early childhood through the post-graduate level in order to help develop the diverse talent pool needed for tomorrow's workforce.
KPMG partners and employees support Junior Achievement programs that educate students about workforce readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy. In addition to over 50 KPMG professionals serving on local JA boards across the U.S., the firm contributed more than $550,000 through corporate philanthropy and fundraising events. KPMG received the U.S. President’s Volunteer Service Award recognizing more than 10,000 employee volunteer hours to JA in the 2012-2013 school year.
Most significantly, as part of KPMG’s ongoing commitment to workforce readiness the firm expanded its affiliation with Junior Achievement in 2013 to sponsor the redevelopment of JA Finance Park® with a $1.75 million, multi-year grant from the KPMG Foundation.
JA Finance Park
JA Finance Park is one of Junior Achievement's most successful programs with more than 1 million students across the U.S. having gone through this hands-on curriculum. The program provides middle and high school students with a 13-lesson personal finance curriculum delivered by their teacher. Following the classroom work, students travel to a JA Finance Park location — in some cases virtually — where their new money-management skills are put to the test with the assistance of their teachers and KPMG volunteers.
As a result of the funding commitment from the KPMG Foundation, the JA Finance Park curriculum was redeveloped to more strongly infuse 21st century learning concepts and technology, making it more career-focused and applicable to the “real world” than ever before. It also added use of technology and tablets to create a more relevant learning experience for today’s students. Launched in September 2014, the new curriculum offers students the opportunity to explore personal finance topics through interactive learning.
Learn more about Junior Achievement and JA Finance Park by visiting their website.