The program teaches students fundamental skills including how the economy works and money management.

Forest Grove High School is looking for volunteers to help with a new program for seniors which teaches some of the most fundamental skills for thriving in adulthood.COURTESY PHOTO: JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT - The program is offered to students K-12 across the country.

Junior Achievement is a nonprofit organization that teaches kids about financial literacy, workforce readiness and entrepreneurship, starting as early as kindergarten, said Gina Huntington, vice president of programs for Junior Achievement of Oregon & Southwest Washington.

The nearly 100-year-old nonprofit offers programs of many different kinds, to students of all ages across the country.

Forest Grove High School has chosen to adopt the program this year, offering it to all senior students once in the fall and once in the spring, but they need volunteers to make it happen.

Community volunteers are trained by Junior Achievement and given the curriculum they will then teach in the classroom once per week — for five weeks for the fall session, or seven for the spring.

"Our mission is to inspire students to succeed in the global economy," Huntington said. "So we are really just trying to prepare them for the world of work and make sure that they are financially literate and business-minded and ready to go."

At the end of the elementary program, students have learned how the economy works, how to apply for jobs, how to build a resume, write a check and more.

Middle and high school is more focused on budgeting, Huntington said, like debit versus credit, saving versus investing, risk management, what a budget is, why you would have one and how to stick to it.

Several of the programs offer experiential learning, where students simulate running a business or developing a budget for a fictitious life scenario.

Seniors at Forest Grove High School will be participating in a personal finance program and career success during their advisory period.

"All of our programs are correlated to the state standards, so these programs aren't something that should be an addition for the teachers to do, it should be something that they are already supposed to be covering," Huntington said. "And it's in hopefully a more fun and engaging way, plus it really bridges the community volunteers coming into the classroom and being able to help out in maybe a different way. It's not their parents teaching them, or their teacher, it's somebody who is in the community who is invested in their future and is trying to help them through."

The program is in need of 18 volunteers for fall and 18 for spring. It is expected to begin in late October. For more information, or to sign up to volunteer, visit

By Olivia Singer
Reporter, Forest Grove News-Times and Hillsboro Tribune
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