The school year is in full swing in Fairfax County, and Marymount University has teamed up with Junior Achievement of Greater Washington to educate middle schoolers about the value of a college education. Marymount is the Education Storefront partner at JA Finance Park in Fairfax County.
A trip to the Finance Park, a “mini-city” featuring a variety of “storefronts,” is the culminating event in a 14-lesson personal finance curriculum for eighth-graders. Each storefront correlates to the personal budget lines students must manage based on their assigned avatar’s career, salary, credit score, debt, family and financial obligations. All 14,000 Fairfax County Schools eighth-graders will go through the JA Finance Park during the academic year.
“Marymount is excited to partner with Junior Achievement to encourage the next generation of leaders to pursue a college education and become equipped with the 21st century skills required in today’s global workplace,” said MU President Matthew D. Shank. “JA Finance Park demonstrates the kind of real-world, hands-on learning that is a pillar of the Marymount educational mission.”
Marymount’s storefront, part of a three-year partnership with Junior Achievement, encourages students to #InvestinU. The interactive storefront features a six-foot ViewMaster reel students can spin to see photos of college life. To give the middle schoolers a glimpse of the types of work they can expect to do as college students, affixed to another wall are three-dimensional elements from Marymount student projects:
- a rideable, motorized toy car MU students modified for children with mobility issues;
- GPS trackers MU students affixed to endangered hawksbill sea turtles in order to track their feeding and nesting habits;
- 3D-printed prosthetic hands and arms made by MU students for people in need;
- lacrosse equipment from the silver-medal winning U.S. team at the Berlin Open, which included Marymount players;
- clothing designs by Marymount fashion majors
Marymount’s Educational Storefront also provides students with information about scholarships and other financial aid available to help fund a college education.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that a college graduate can expect to earn $2.1 million over a lifetime while a high school graduate earns, on average, $1.2 million.