MasterCard International is spread its staff out throughout the St. Louis region yesterday to share the fundamentals of personal financial management with thousands of children at public, private and parochial schools. The program, called “JA in a Day,” is the first of its kind in the Midwest and will reach schools from East St. Louis to Jefferson County.
The massive event comes at a time when children have more impact on the economy than ever before. According to a YouthPulse Study by National Harris Interactive, American kids, teen-agers and young adults (aged 8 to 21 years) have annual incomes totaling $211 billion – most of which they spend, rather than save.
Junior Achievement research has shown that many teens would like to start their own businesses someday and one-quarter of teens believe they will be millionaires by the time they reach age 40.
“It’s never too early to learn how to manage money, so MasterCard and Junior Achievement are partnering in a one-day blitz of schools to share this knowledge,” said Jerry McElhatton, senior executive vice president, MasterCard International. McElhatton heads up MasterCard Global Technology and Operations, which is MasterCard’s largest division and is headquartered in St. Louis.
Traditionally, volunteers deliver the Junior Achievement curriculum in classrooms over a period of six to eight weeks. Today’s massive event between Junior Achievement and MasterCard is an experiment designed to reach more students with a one-day, immersive experience on what JA calls the “economics of life.” The program will reach children in grades K-8, with curriculum tailored to their level of learning. Concepts taught by MasterCard volunteers will include business education, personal financial management, and “success skills” for the workplace.
“We are thrilled to have MasterCard as a partner in this exciting experiment,” said Rick Franke, president of Junior Achievement of the Mississippi Valley. “One of the things our programs teach our young people is entrepreneurialism, so it makes perfect sense to try something entrepreneurial ourselves.
“The schools have been wonderful to work with, and we are confident that with MasterCard’s real-world experience in the classroom we can better teach our young people about the economics of life. MasterCard’s spirit of volunteerism is a role model for other corporate partners to help us reach new schools that have never before had the Junior Achievement experience.” “We’ve been involved with Junior Achievement for several years because we think it has one of the best models for helping students understand the value of responsible money management, as well as how the economy works. Those are important messages for every child,” McElhatton added.
The JA in a Day initiative will offer programs from kindergarten through the eighth grade, from the introduction of the economic roles of individuals and families to personal economics lessons and the economic benefits of education.
For more information on Junior Achievement, visit .
About MasterCard International
MasterCard International is a leading global payments solutions company that provides a broad variety of innovative services in support of our global members’ credit, deposit access, electronic cash, business-to-business and related payment programs. MasterCard International manages a family of well- known, widely accepted payment cards brands including MasterCard(R), Maestro(R) and Cirrus(R) and serves financial institutions, consumers and businesses in over 210 countries and territories. The MasterCard award-winning Priceless(R) advertising campaign is now seen in 96 countries and in 47 languages, giving the MasterCard brand a truly global reach and scope. For more information go to .