In the midst of an era where both young people and financial institutions seem to get a bad rap in the press, we’re experiencing what may seem like an alternate reality here at Junior Achievement of Delaware. As we speak, 24 teens from around the world are here in Wilmington competing for prizes and global titles in a game where they are the CEOs/entrepreneurs of virtual enterprises. More students and regions of the world are represented in this year’s enhanced JA Global Titan Challenge, which encompasses everything from financial inclusion to business ethics to innovation. Students from China, Russia, Poland, Canada, and the U.S. are experiencing business and financial decisions through each other’s unique cultural prisms.
Based on my own experience as a teen competitor in the JA Company Program® in the early 80’s, I know this experience will leave an indelible impression on these young people. For some, this is their first introduction to business/leisure travel; so we equipped them with prepaid cards to make dining and shopping experiences safe and hassle-free.
Last night, the kids experienced a personal budgeting simulation in JA Finance Park. Here, they used a replica of a MasterCard Debit card which simulates real-life budgeting situations from the perspective of people from different socio-economic backgrounds. For example, one 17 year-old student suddenly had to make decisions as a 35-year old married woman with two children grossing $40,000 annually. Using her debit card to pay her bills, she had the intended revelation: CEOs and heads of households make the same kinds of decisions every day, just on a different scale. You can see the winners of our JA Global Titan Challenge here.
If your kids could use help to better understand how to effectively manage their money, check out Junior Achievement.