The program is called JA Finance Park Virtual. Students are randomly assigned a fictional job, age, income, educational background, and family. Based on that life-scenario, they have to manage a budget and meet real life needs.
Rick Franke is president of Junior Achievement of Southeast Texas. Franke notes the state mandates personal finance education for all high school seniors to graduate. But he says such lessons are often lost.
“This program that UPS is funding enables students to understand the pitfalls, to also understand that there are disciplines involved in being able to stay within your budget, within your means, and be able to have a successful life without getting into financial disarray.”
The program is already in place in high schools in Conroe and Katy. The grant will help Junior Achievement to expand its use throughout the Houston area. A public version of the program is available at JA Finance Park Virtual.
Screenshot of JA Finance Park Virtual, a personal finance educational game