Robin Wise, president and CEO of Junior Achievement – Rocky Mountain
The goal: For the low-income students participating in this project to do as well, or better, than their higher-income counterparts on state-mandated financial literacy testing, and for their attitudes toward staying in school to exceed that of their peers. The program has already garnered national interest and funding and is considered a national model for economic education.
Robin Wise, president and CEO of JA - Rocky Mountain, credits the Adolph Coors Foundation for helping to create the vision for the program. “They really inspired our organization to see ourselves as life size.” she said. Visit the Junior Achievement website
In 2008, the Colorado legislature passed a bill requiring Colorado schools to teach personal finance to K-12 students and included financial literacy among the state-mandated educational standards that will be tested starting in 2014. This opened the door to an unprecedented relationship between the Adolph Coors Foundation and Junior Achievement (JA) - Rocky Mountain, a nonprofit that brings business leaders into the classroom to teach young people to become financially literate, work ready, entrepreneurial and to believe in the power of their own potential.
With a lead gift from the Adolph Coors Foundation, JA - Rocky Mountain (the Denver-area branch of JA) launched a first-of-its-kind three-year demonstration project, Igniting the American Spirit, to expand the knowledge of free enterprise and personal finance among low-income students'.
The program will saturate more than 20,000 kids in five school districts with JA - Rocky Mountain’s business-oriented financial curriculum and, with the help of the Colorado Council on Economic Education and the Young Americans Center for Financial Education, provide unparalleled training resources for students, teachers and volunteers.