Junior Achievement of Central Maryland and University System of Maryland Join Forces


Junior Achievement of Central Maryland Inc. (JA), a non-profit organization dedicated to educating young people to succeed in a rapidly changing economy, teamed withUniversity System of Maryland (USM) volunteers to help Patterson High School students learn financial lessons through the JA Personal Finance Experience budget and career simulation program.

Over 130 students participated in the interactive program, which presented them with different lifestyle scenarios including marital status, number of children, employment and income. The students were then tasked with managing a budget across 17 stations consisting of transportation, housing, insurance, education, entertainment, savings and more.

“This program is significant because it gives students a greater understanding of what factors will affect how they manage their future budgets,” said Jennifer Bodensiek, President & CEO of Junior Achievement of Central Maryland. “I’m glad that these students were able to experience this program with the help of volunteers from the University System of Maryland, who share the same mindset of making Maryland an economic and education leader.”

All of the sessions were run completely by 13 volunteers from USM as part of the annual Governor’s Day of Service. Robert Caret, Chancellor of USM, was also on site and ready to help guide the high school students through each session.

“I’m delighted the University System of Maryland chose to partner with Junior Achievement of Central Maryland and Patterson High School for our Governor’s Day to Serve event,” said USM Chancellor Robert L. Caret. “As a first-generation college student myself, I welcomed the opportunity to work with USM volunteers in conveying the economic value of a college education and why students should learn critical personal finance skills. When young people take these steps early in life, their futures hold much more promise.”

The Patterson High School students finished the program with a deeper understanding of how career, education, and spending choices will have a direct impact on their future success.

“Seeing what I pay in taxes was the most surprising, but it’s helpful to know when I get my first job to know what to expect,” said Desmond, an 11 th grader at Patterson High School.

About Junior Achievement of Central Maryland

Junior Achievement of Central Maryland is part of the world’s largest organization dedicated to inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in a global economy. Through a dedicated volunteer network, JACMD provides hands-on programs that show more than 46,000 K-12 students each year the realities of how careers, money and business ownership work. JA experiences are proven to give students the edge in college completion, career readiness, earning potential, and business start-up. For more information, visit www.jamaryland.org.

About The University System of Maryland

The University System of Maryland (USM) is the state’s public higher education system. USM’s 12 institutions, two regional higher education centers, and system office work closely together to leverage their collective expertise and resources, share best practices, increase the system’s effectiveness and efficiency, and advance USM’s mission to improve the quality of life in Maryland.

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