This week we sat down with JA Girl$ volunteer Jennafer Harvey, a Financial Advisor with The Solomon, Greer & Dukelow Wealth Management Group of Wells Fargo Advisors, to learn about her recent experience leading a JA Girl$ group.
Where did you teach JA Girl$?
I had the pleasure to work with the girls in the after school program at The Bridge in downtown Jacksonville.
How many girls were in your group?
There was a group of around 18 girls that was comprised of girls from the 6th and 7th grade levels
What JA program did you teach?
While at The Bridge I taught the JA Girl$ program Economics for Success.
Have you volunteered with Junior Achievement before?
I have volunteered with JA before, once during college in Belleville, IL and then again here locally both times teaching elementary age children.
How did you learn of this opportunity and why did you want to get involved with JA Girl$?
Elizabeth Paulson and I met at a chamber of commerce event where she told me a little about the JA Girl$ program. I wanted to get involved with the program because working as a financial advisor I see the lack of education provided to our youth regarding finances. Even the most basic information is usually learned through trial and error. My hope is that one piece of information stuck with the girls and will help them make better financial decisions in the future.
Most memorable moment?
Seeing the girls playing the Economics for Success computer game and combining the skills they learned over the course of the class. I used the game as the last session of the course to ensure the girls had a computer and the time to complete the game. It warmed my heart to see the girls connecting the information learned to the game in order to achieve financial success.
How important are the JA lessons to these young girls? What impact do you think the lessons had?
The JA lessons are very important to these young girls. Many of them have not and may never be taught the basics of finance via any other method and just the introduction of the various topics makes them aware that there are many economic decisions to be made during their adult life. The lessons showed the girls a variety of things from the need to balance their time between school, work, studying and leisure time to the need for renter insurance to protect what they’ve worked so hard to obtain in life.
“Without the seed that JA Girl$ planted many of these girls may not have known the complexities of the world they will face as adults.”
What do you hope the girls took away from your time with them?
My hope is that the girls realize, at a young age, that financial freedom comes through hard work and planning. If you put your mind to any tasks it can be accomplished, even that of becoming financially successful in life. Ideally they would continue to seek information regarding the topics covered during the lessons to become financially free during their adult life… knowledge is power.
What would you say to other women who are curious about volunteering with JA Girl$?
The satisfaction given seeing the girls understand the concepts presented and knowing that you’ve made a difference in their future is beyond compare. It was minimal time and work for such a great reward.
Tickets are available for Smart Women Make Change, featuring keynote speaker Christina Norman: http://www.smartwomenmakechange.com