Nation's Youth to Benefit from New Financial Education Partnership

Junior Achievement, National Endowment for Financial Education Join to Boost Financial Literacy Among Teenagers

Date: April 6, 2006

Contact: Paul Golden 303-224-3514, [email protected]

ENGLEWOOD, COLORADO—Teens transitioning into today’s adult world will face a challenge in maintaining—not to mention improving on—the quality of life enjoyed by their parents. The recently released 2006 Economic Report of the President revealed that earnings for workers with college degrees declined 5.2 percent between 2000 and 2004. Considering increases in the cost of goods and services, lesser-educated Americans experienced an even more dramatic drop in their living standards.1 This places a critical emphasis on the need for financial education before young people leave high school and college to make their way in life.

Toward this end, the National Endowment for Financial Education® (NEFE®), an independent, nonprofit foundation committed to educating Americans about personal finance; and JA Worldwide™ (Junior Achievement), a nonprofit organization devoted to inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in a global economy, recently entered into an agreement to help teens succeed in meeting their financial goals. The two organizations will work together to expand the outreach of the NEFE High School Financial Planning Program® (HSFPP), a practical and non-commercial course that is available at no cost to public and private high schools throughout the country.

The five-year affiliation was conceived through the organizations’ mutual belief that teens with financial education are better prepared for the challenges they will face in striving to achieve their life goals. The collaboration intends to use JA Worldwide volunteers, who will be called upon to introduce the HSFPP to high schools in the United States. Through hands-on, experiential learning activities, students participating in the program will witness first-hand the importance of financial planning as a key element to one’s success.

“The top priority for the High School Financial Planning Program is to reach out to all of America’s youth and help them acquire and apply personal finance skills,” said Ted Beck, president and CEO of NEFE. “We welcome this alliance and believe Junior Achievement’s vast volunteer network will help us meet our goals for expanding the program. By working in concert, our two organizations can achieve a synergism that, ultimately, enhances the financial well-being of this country’s young people.”

“We’re thrilled to join forces with NEFE and its HSFPP partners to provide our young people with practical money management skills,” added David S. Chernow, president and CEO of JA Worldwide. “JA Worldwide strives to prepare young people to succeed; if we can give students valuable personal finance tools, they will have a head start on the way to financial success.”

The NEFE High School Financial Planning Program is a six-unit course that teaches the essentials of money management to teens at a time when they are developing habits and attitudes about money which will influence them for the rest of their lives. NEFE also offers the program in partnership with the Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service, USDA and Participating Land-Grant University Cooperative Extension Services (CSREES); and the Credit Union National Association, Inc. (CUNA), and America’s Credit Unions.

Since its inception in 1984, more than 4.6 million HSFPP workbooks have been distributed in schools across all 50 states. In 2005 alone, more than 630,000 student guides were circulated to nearly 7,500 schools. An independent evaluation of the program completed in 1998, and repeated in 2003, found that the HSFPP is highly effective in improving the personal finance knowledge, behavior and confidence of teens. Upon completing the curriculum, students reported an increase of 60 percent in their knowledge of key areas covered by the HSFPP.

The evaluation also found that participants better understood financial behaviors and were more confident in making money management decisions compared to their feelings prior to working with the NEFE High School Program.

In commenting on the new agreement, John Parfrey, director of the NEFE High School Financial Planning Program, said, “More than ever, America’s youth need a solid footing in the principles of personal finance. The HSFPP has been proven to be a powerful tool in accomplishing that goal. I am pleased that Junior Achievement, with its highly respected curriculum, will become yet another avenue for young people to begin the road to sound financial maturity through the use of our program.”

For more information about the National Endowment for Financial Education and the NEFE High School Financial Planning Program, visit and click on the Education Programs section. NEFE empowers all Americans to make positive and sound decisions to reach financial goals.

JA Worldwide is the world’s largest organization dedicated to inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in a global economy. Through a dedicated volunteer network, JA Worldwide provides in-school and after-school programs for students in grades K-12. JA Worldwide offers educational programs that focus on seven key content areas: business, citizenship, economics, entrepreneurship, ethics/character, financial literacy and career development. Today, 139 individual area operations reach approximately four million students in the United States, with more than 3.5 million students served by operations in 100 countries worldwide. For more information, visit


1Economic Report of the President, February 2006.


  • Paul Golden

    Media Relations Director

    Direct: 303-224-3514
    Cell: 303-918-3620
    [email protected]