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How Junior Achievement is Helping Young People find their Uncommon Path with Collin Lane

Episode 58:

Why don’t more kids learn about financial literacy and entrepreneurship in school? Why are these not part of the core curriculum from kindergarten through 12th grade? Some states (like Iowa!) and local school districts do have these requirements, but way too many do not. The result is adults who don’t know how to save and don’t understand basic financial principles. Stop the madness!

In our most recent episode, we are blowing the lid off this challenge, and bringing on the solutions! We discovered Junior Achievement last year and are in awe of how it answers so many of our concerns about financial literacy in the classroom. Our guest, Collin Lane tells us all about how JA brings experiential learning about financial principles—from finance, jobs, business, and entrepreneurship —to classrooms across the country, and how they’ve been doing it for over 100 years.

Collin is in his second year as the director of programs for Junior Achievement of Central Iowa. Before his time with JA, he spent nearly 14 years in public education for Des Moines public schools. He taught fifth grade for seven years and was an elementary tech teacher. He served as Instructional Technology Coordinator as a member of the district-wide curriculum team. Collin has his BA in Elementary Education from Moorpark College and his Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Northern Iowa.

What You Will Learn in this Episode:

  • Why we need to prepare our kids with financial literacy
  • How Junior Achievement has been helping young entrepreneurs for 100+ years
  • The kinds of financial literacy and entrepreneurship programs JA provides
  • How kids can gain an immersive experience in business that they will remember the rest of their lives
  • Teaching kids beyond basics to get at deeper principles of financial well-being
  • Why school districts should include financial literacy as part of the core curriculum from K-12
  • How to take financial literacy to the next level with college-age young people
  • Why mentorship is the cheat code of life
“Junior Achievement is the country's oldest education-related nonprofit. In 2019, Junior Achievement celebrated its hundredth year as a nonprofit.” – Collin Lane Click To Tweet “We like to tell schools that we're here to help your kids understand jobs, money, and businesses; things that they're all going to interact with regardless of what they choose for their future.” – Collin Lane Click To Tweet “My favorite financial lesson for grade school-age kids is about opportunity cost. Imagine fifth-graders thinking about how every decision they make, financial or otherwise, there are things that you sacrifice to make that decision.” – Collin Lane Click To Tweet “In high school, we try to get kids focused on deeper questions. Not the difference between a bank and a credit union, but more like ‘I'm confident that I can recover if I struggle with a financial choice.’ We want to empower kids through our… Click To Tweet “We get involved with schools in a lot of ways. Sometimes it’s a teacher, sometimes it’s a principal. Sometimes it is a business leader or parent who realizes what a need this is for students.” – Collin Lane Click To Tweet “Students need to make better decisions about taking on student loans relative to their earning power after college. Because that can get out of balance very quickly.” – Collin Lane Click To Tweet “Being mentored is a powerful experience and one that we need to have way more young people experience.” – Collin Lane Click To Tweet