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Dallas Superintendent Michael Hinojosa speaking with the students from Maceo Smith New Tech High School on April 1 at Junior Achievement’s Finance Park located at Paul Quinn College. The students spent the afternoon learning about the many pieces that comprise a personal budget, such as rent/mortgage, car payments, insurance, savings, entertainment, groceries and more. The students then created a balanced budget, as they began to understand the value of money, and make the connection between hard work, education, and their future earnings. JA Finance Park® enables middle and high school students to build foundations for making successful lifelong personal finance decisions, in a program correlated to Texas Skills Standards for 8th and 9th grades. In 19 teacher-led lessons, combined with a 4.5 hour simulation, students learn about the many pieces of a personal budget, such as rent/mortgage, car payments, insurance, savings, entertainment, groceries and more. As students strive to create a balanced budget, they begin to understand the value of money and make the connection between hard work, education, and their future earnings.

The JA Dallas Finance Park program provides students with new tablet PCs funded by Capital One; to date, Capital One has supplied the program with 130 tablets. The reimagined experience begins in the classroom with three weeks of classroom curriculum, taught by teachers and providing the building blocks of personal finance education.