Cherokee Nation Foundation hosts Tahlequah students at Junior Achievement’s Finance Park

April 17, 2017

Taylor Lynn, Alyssa Nash, Taylor Deason, Jordan Phillips.

TULSA, Okla. — Cherokee Nation Foundation recently hosted students from Tahlequah High School at Junior Achievement of Oklahoma’s JA Finance Park® presented by Bank of Oklahoma.

The interactive day was held at the Tulsa Tech Peoria Campus and provided students the opportunity to put their financial literacy skills to the test in a simulated city where each decision they make impacts their take-home pay and livelihood.

“This is a wonderful extension of our partnership with Junior Achievement of Oklahoma, and we are excited that our Tahlequah students were able to participate in their pilot program,” said Janice Randall, executive director of Cherokee Nation Foundation. “A financial education is one of the most important things we can give our students, and we are thankful the teachers and school administrators at Tahlequah High School share that vision.”

JA Finance Park® is a state-of-the-art mobile facility where students live a fictional life situation, with a marital status, children, a job and a salary. They are then challenged to create and successfully use a budget and make decisions around saving, spending, investing and philanthropic giving. To achieve these tasks, students work in groups and visit 19 kiosks with interactive terminals that simulate stores, restaurants and utility companies among other real-world businesses, like Bank of Oklahoma.

“Supporting financial education is a core focus of Bank of Oklahoma,” said Pat Piper, executive vice president of Consumer Banking Services for Bank of Oklahoma and state board member for Junior Achievement of Oklahoma. “Financial literacy and money management skills are crucial building blocks for economic success. That’s why our employees volunteer in dozens of Junior Achievement classrooms each year through our Learn for Life program, and we invest in financial literacy programs to ensure individuals of all ages have the opportunity to be fiscally responsible and economically self-reliant.”

Junior Achievement of Oklahoma plans to host nearly 1,000 Green Country students in the next week, in addition to the 1,000 served in Oklahoma City earlier this month.

“For 50 years, Junior Achievement of Oklahoma has helped students understand the short- and long-term impact of educational, financial and life-style decisions,” said Shannan Beeler, president of Junior Achievement of Oklahoma. “It also prepares students to succeed as adults by teaching them some basic, practical money-management skills, which they will need to help them prosper in life.”

JA Finance Park is just one of many programs offered to foster work-readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy skills in students. For more information about JA program opportunities throughout the Cherokee Nation, contact Janice Randall at (918) 207-0950.