As soon as students walk in the door, they are handed a packet simulating their adult lives. Annually, groups of junior high students from Northfield, Southwood, Wabash Middle School and Manchester Jr. High spend approximately four hours at Junior Achievement's Finance Park learning about lifelong financial issues. Area students will visit the Finance Park facility next semester after completing a four to six week in classroom curriculum. Each student is given their age, marital status, number of children, education, gross income and Social Security and taxes owed. From that information, they have to budget their lives from home improvement decisions to credit cards.
"Interestingly, students often discover that it doesn't fit their budget for their children to have cell phones," explained Finance Park Manager, Sarah Garrison. Light bulb moments happen all the time at Finance Park.
Junior Achievement's Finance Park in Fort Wayne helps students build a foundation for making intelligent, lifelong personal finance decisions through hands-on, realistic site-based experiences. More than 400 Wabash County students experience Finance Park each year.
"Junior Achievement wishes to thank Beacon Credit Union for helping to fund programs like this one, so that students from our county can benefit from this educational experience," said Julie Dyson, Area Coordinator for JA.