You always hear people say they didn’t learn how to use their money wisely in school. They took math classes but didn’t learn how to build credit or get a mortgage. Well, at the Plymouth Community School Corporation, the Junior Achievement program teaches students how to be financially literate. The kick-off event was this past Friday. Darlene Derifield facilitates this 7th grade course at Lincoln Jr High.

The Financial Literacy Program kickoff at Lincoln Junior High featured guest speakers Nick Cheney, Mindy Overmyer, Heidi Hoffer, and Lorna Shively on November 17. This transformative initiative began with an interactive “Heads or Tails” activity, offering students the chance to win a $25 gift card.

Nick Cheney provided a compelling introduction, emphasizing the importance of Junior Achievement (JA) and the practical, real-world tools and skills that students would acquire throughout the program. Lorna Shively shared valuable insights into earning money and understanding paychecks, covering topics such as gross vs. net income and distinctions between salary and hourly wages.

Heidi Hoffer explored budgeting and savings, encouraging students to live within their means, break free from paycheck-to-paycheck living, and prioritize paying themselves first. Angie Mills, PCSC’s Multi-Age Program Director, shared practical tips on smart shopping, including using coupons, seeking deals, and distinguishing between wants and needs.

Mindy Overmyer discussed responsible borrowing practices, covering credit cards, installment loans, and mortgages, while emphasizing the importance of understanding loan terms. Heidi Hoffer returned to illuminate the basics of investing for retirement, demystifying compound interest and instilling the idea that everyone can retire as a millionaire.

A second round of the “Heads or Tails” game, with a $25 gift card up for grabs, added an element of fun and engagement. Nick Cheney concluded the kickoff event by expressing appreciation for the guest speakers. This kickoff not only set the stage for a comprehensive financial literacy program but also showcased the commitment of community members like Nick, Mindy, Heidi, and Lorna in imparting essential life skills to the students at Lincoln Junior High.