Seventeen Primerica Home Office employees recently had the opportunity to impart real world personal finance experience to Gwinnett County, Georgia, middle school students. The specific lessons in adulthood? How to create and stick to a budget and spend your money wisely!
Primerica and The Primerica Foundation have partnered with the Junior Achievement Discovery Center Finance Park in Gwinnett – a simulated learning center that is required curriculum for eighth grade students who attend Gwinnett County Public Schools.
At Finance Park, students are given a random life scenario for the day – including a job, marital status and dependents, as well as a level of debt. They are tasked with going from storefront to storefront with a mock debit card and must purchase necessary items to maintain their household on a month’s income. The exercise requires them to consider costs of groceries and transportation to a mortgage and debt repayment, but they are also given a chance to consider wealth protection measures such as life insurance or investments.
The volunteers use their time and talents to mentor and guide the students during this time, which often causes candid realizations as the activity brings home the real life costs of things to the middle schoolers.
“I think it was pretty funny when one of the students saw just how much it cost to pay for health insurance for his family,” one volunteer said. “He saw the number and almost passed out!”
Some students walked away with a newfound appreciation for the sacrifices made by their parents after catching a glimpse at how expensive the real world can be.
“I can’t believe how my father affords me sometimes,” one student said.
Many said they were going to go home and hug their parents.
The activity impacts more than just the students, though.
One volunteer noticed the students working well together as a team and called it “refreshing to see.”
“They took their roles and responsibilities really seriously,” she said. “It was nice to see that the future is going to be producing more friendly working environments.”
In addition to the group of 17 that volunteered December 2, 20 Primerica employees volunteered in February 2016 and 25 volunteered at the opening of the center in
Junior Achievement estimates 30,000 students and a little more than 5,000 volunteers will have passed through the center in 2016.
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