Highland Park Students to Learn Financial Lessons

Students at Highland Park High School will participate in FutureNow: Finance March 14-15, a financial literacy program from Communities In Schools of Mid-America. FutureNow: Finance is supported by a grant from United Way of Greater Topeka and is an exercise to help students understand some of the “realities” involved in preparing for an employable future and adulthood. The FutureNow: Finance event will take place in the school during the school day.

At FutureNow: Finance, students will be provided an occupation based on their current educational plans after high school, their current GPA, and their desired career field. They will complete a lifestyle survey prior to the event, providing details about the life they plan to have as a 26-year-old.

Before entering FutureNow: Finance, students will receive their lifestyle survey along with their adult scenario – complete with marital status, number of children, occupation, and net monthly income. Their net monthly income will be the equivalent of the average monthly salary in the selected occupation at the age of 26.

During the FutureNow: Finance event, students will visit a variety of booths to “purchase” housing, transportation, communication services, child care, food, utilities, insurance, etc. They will also have the opportunity to save money, give to charity and learn about unexpected things that affect daily life (e.g. accidents, unexpected visitors). The students have approximately one hour to complete their FutureNow: Finance session.

According to the Jump$tart Coalition® for Personal Financial Literacy Survey (April, 2008), fewer than 50% of teens 13-18 years old consider themselves knowledgeable about how to budget money (41%), how to pay bills (34%), how credit card interest and fees work (26%), or whether a check cashing service is good to use (24%), how income taxes work (14 percent), or what a 401(k) plan is (13%).