Partnership between Junior Achievement of Greater Washington, Montgomery County Public Schools, and Capital One Delivers Digital, High-Impact Financial Literacy Program to Every Montgomery County 7th Grader

SILVER SPRING, MD, October 16, 2018 - Today, Junior Achievement of Greater Washington, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS), and Capital One Financial Corporation (Capital One) celebrated the opening of JA Finance Park® on the campus of the new Thomas Edison High School of Technology in Silver Spring, Maryland. The 25,000 square-foot experiential financial literacy supercenter will serve 12,000 MCPS 7th graders in the largest JA Finance Park in the region and the second facility in the state of Maryland to Prince George’s County.

Attendees at the opening celebration included Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford, The Honorable Craig Rice, Montgomery County Councilmember, Jack Smith, Superintendent, Montgomery County Public Schools, as well as other state, community and regional business leaders.

“JA Finance Park at Thomas Edison High School, a keystone institution for providing college and career readiness, is an experiential opportunity for middle schoolers in Montgomery County to learn how to budget and start financially healthy habits as they become income-earning members of the community,” said Ed Grenier, President and CEO of Junior Achievement of Greater Washington. “We are grateful for our partners at Capital One, the Montgomery County School Board, and the Montgomery County Council for supporting this endeavor and working along side of us. Let us all thank and congratulate Thomas Edison High School and its Principal, Shawn Krasa, for being the host of Montgomery County’s first JA Finance Park and the second in the state of Maryland.”

Powered by a dynamic public-private partnership, JA Finance Park is an innovative ecosystem where students experience the challenges of making real-life financial decisions that will lay the foundation for how they approach their financial responsibilities in the future and navigate success in the modern economy.  When students arrive at Finance Park, they first tour the new Thomas Edison High School of Technology so they can see the connection between learning, earning potential and career pathways.

JA Finance Park officially started welcoming students on October 2. The experience begins with four weeks of classroom curriculum, culminating with a day at JA Finance Park, where students are immersed in a reality-based, decision-making process that addresses budgeting, health care, investments, philanthropy and banking. The on-site activities allow students to execute what they learned in the classroom and provide a strong foundation to understand how to maintain a realistic personal budget. 

In a 2018 MassMutual's Financial Security Study, Americans age 25-40 were asked five basic financial literacy questions and only 17 percent of respondents answered all five questions correctly. The study indicates that the lack of financial literacy takes a toll on Americans’ financial health--55 percent of people don't feel they have the financial knowledge to properly manage their finances.

JA Finance Park not only arms students with the knowledge and skills to be financially capable, but aims to make a connection between budgeting and the educational and career choices they will make after graduation. National evaluations of the JA Finance Park program show that students who participated in the program acquired financial literacy knowledge and were more positively disposed toward financial literacy. Students also demonstrated a positive change in attitude regarding education attainment. Students, teachers, and JA staff all affirmed the value of JA Finance Park, saying that it was often seen as a “wake up” call for students to the financial realities of adulthood, and students relished in the opportunity to learn more about what their lives will be like in the real world.

“One key to students’ success in a 21st century, global economy, is being equipped with a solid foundation in financial literacy,” said Jack Smith, Superintendent of Montgomery County Public Schools. “Today’s opening of JA Finance Park will allow thousands of students to learn, through hands-on experiences, about making sound financial decisions. I thank the Montgomery County Board of Education and Junior Achievement of Greater Washington for making this facility a reality. We are grateful for their partnership and this effort should serve as an example for our state, region, and the nation as to what public-private partnership truly means.”

With a $2.5 million investment in the new JA Finance Park, Capital One expands its commitment to financial education in the Greater Washington area and Montgomery County.

“We have a long-standing partnership with Junior Achievement because we share their vision that one of the most important investments we can make in the future of our community is an investment in financial education. Through our national and local investments in Junior Achievement, to the thousands of Capital One associates who volunteer at Finance Park every year, to the investments in technology to help students gain digital skills -- it’s a holistic kind of philanthropy that leverages all of our resources to support a common goal,” said John Durrant, Senior Vice President, Product and Operations, Retail & Direct Bank at Capital One and Junior Achievement of Greater Washington Board member. “Financial well-being has always been an area of focus for us at Capital One, and is a key pillar of Future Edge – our community initiative focused on empowering more Americans to succeed in the digital economy.”

In addition to Capital One’s signature sponsorship, the JA Finance Park facility and operations are supported by a broad cross-section of the region’s leading businesses and organizations through storefront, kiosk, and educational exhibit partnerships within the facility. Partners include:  Apple Federal Credit Union, Carl M.  Freeman Foundation, Clark Construction Group, LLC, CohnReznick LLP, Deloitte, Educational Systems Federal Credit Union, E*Tade, EY, Family Services, Inc., Fitzgerald Lake Forest Toyota, GEICO, Goodwill of Greater Washington, Grant Thornton LLP, Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc., Innovative Training, Events & Professional Solutions LLC, Investment Company Institute Education Foundation, KPMG LLP, MedStar Health, Montgomery County Council, Omega Travel/, Pentagon Federal Credit Union, Pepco Holdings, Inc., PwC, Safeway Foundation, SunTrust Foundation, The Greene Turtle Franchising Corporation, The Montgomery College Foundation, United Bank, United Way of the National Capital Area, UnitedHealthcare, University of Maryland, Shady Grove Center, Washington Gas, Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission.

With this opening, Maryland is home to two Junior Achievement Finance Parks with Prince George’s County opening in 2015. The first JA Finance Park opened in Fairfax, Virginia, in October 2010. To date, more than 120,000 students in the greater Washington region have become JA Finance Park graduates through more than 2.5 million instructional hours and 165 schools from 10 school systems.

To learn more about JA Finance Park in Montgomery County, partnership and volunteer opportunities, please visit

About Junior Achievement of Greater Washington
Since 1965, Junior Achievement of Greater Washington has inspired the next generation to be financially capable and tenacious, equipped with the tools to solve problems creatively, manage risk effectively, and welcome opportunity. Through experiential financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship K-12 programs and capstone experiences taught by volunteer role models from the community, they inspire the next generation to answer the demands of the 21st century economy with “I can.” During the 2017-2018 school year alone, Junior Achievement of Greater Washington delivered its programs to almost 70,000 K-12 students throughout the region. In the last 50 years, Junior Achievement of Greater Washington has impacted the lives of more than 1,000,000 young people in the District, Maryland and Virginia.

About Montgomery County Public Schools
Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) is the largest school district in Maryland with more than 163,000 students.  Our mission is to ensure that every student will have the academic, creative problem solving, and social emotional skills to be successful in college and career.

About Capital One

Capital One Financial Corporation is headquartered in McLean, Virginia. Its subsidiaries, Capital One, N.A. and Capital One Bank (USA), N. A., offer a broad spectrum of financial products and services to consumers, small businesses and commercial clients. We apply the same principles of innovation, collaboration and empowerment in our commitment to our communities across the country that we do in our business. We recognize that helping to build strong and healthy communities – good places to work, good places to do business and good places to raise families – benefits us all and we are proud to support this and other community initiatives.

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