Alix MAC Grade 9 student Jared Baker holds up his fictional monthly cheque for $3

Students learn about finance

Grade 9 students from across the Red Deer and Central Alberta region sat down at Red Deer College Wednesday and Thursday to talk about money and the future.

Grade 9 students from across the Red Deer and Central Alberta region sat down at Red Deer College Wednesday and Thursday to talk about money and the future.

Students from 10 different schools gathered in separate classrooms to participate in the Economics for Success program by Junior Achievement of Southern Alberta, an organization that aims to engage youth in business and entrepreneurship.

“Economics for Success is about learning how money works inside and out in an interactive atmosphere,” said Paul Pettypiece, JA’s regional co-ordinator for the Central Alberta region.

The program, free to any school, is now in its 17th year.

“We’re teaching kids what it means to be financially independent, what a budget it, measuring their needs versus wants, luxuries versus necessities,” added Karen Vavrek, JA’s director of regional development.

“And really it does come down to showing students the importance of staying in school to enhance career opportunities.”

The other unique thing about Economics for Success, said Pettypiece, is that it’s run by volunteers who share their career and life experiences with the students through a series of hands-on learning activities and discussions.

Fifteen Grade 9 students from Alix MAC school listened as volunteer Dustin Quirk, a faculty member from RDC’s Donald School of Business, told them Thursday morning how expensive the cost of living was.

“Some of the everyday things you need you just don’t think about,” said student Jaida Krossa.

“And the prices of some of that stuff like food is pretty shocking when you add it all up.”

Quirk had the students play games, write out a monthly budgeting exercise, and later assigned them fictional jobs with net pay cheques for the month.

Some students had a budget of up to $5,000 a month and were only clearing $4,000, said Quirk.

“Programs like this are a wake up call. The students come in here with their own view of what the world is like and they think they’ve got it all figured out,” he said. “This is a fun way to open their eyes.”

Student Brad Kullman said it had been an interesting morning for sure.

“I think it’ll help us all get ready for life after school . . . Like, it doesn’t look like I’ll be travelling till I retire,” he joked.

Jared Baker, a Grade 9 student at Alix MAC, held up his fictional monthly cheque for $3,424.88.

Baker had to compare this income with his estimated monthly expenses.

A recent Boston Consulting Group study determined that for every $1 invested into a JA program, the economic benefit to society was $45 annual return. The group also reported that JA grads in the future would save more, borrow less, and go bankrupt less often than the average Canadian.

They’re also 50 per cent more likely to open their own business, said BCG.

rfrancoeur@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Men posing as repo men attempt to steal vehicle in Red Deer County

Two men attempted to steal a utility vehicle from a Red Deer… Continue reading

Red Deerian spreads kindness with one card at a time

One Red Deerian wants to combat bullying by spreading kindness in the… Continue reading

Bowden baby in need of surgery

“Help for Alexis” Go Fund Me account

PHOTO: First Rider bus safety in Red Deer

Central Alberta students learned bus safety in the Notre Dame High School… Continue reading

WATCH: Annual Family Picnic at Central Spray and Play

Blue Grass Sod Farms Ltd. held the Annual Family Picnic at the… Continue reading

Woman has finger ripped off at West Edmonton Mall waterslide

SASKATOON — A Saskatchewan woman says she lost a finger after her… Continue reading

Uncertainty looms over Canada’s cannabis tourism, but ambitions are high

TORONTO — Longtime marijuana advocate Neev Tapiero is ready for the cannabis-driven… Continue reading

Feds mulling safeguards to prevent ‘surge’ of cheap steel imports into Canada

OTTAWA — The federal government extended an olive branch of sorts to… Continue reading

Ontario govt caps off summer session by passing bill to cut Toronto council size

TORONTO — The Ontario government passed a controversial bill to slash the… Continue reading

Updated:Italian bridge collapse sends cars plunging, killing 26

MILAN — A 51-year-old highway bridge in the Italian port city of… Continue reading

Saudi Arabia spat affecting Canadians embarking on hajj, community members say

TORONTO — Members of Canada’s Muslim community say recent tensions between Ottawa… Continue reading

Tug carrying up to 22,000 litres of fuel capsizes in Fraser River off Vancouver

VANCOUVER — The smell of diesel filled the air as crews worked… Continue reading

Nebraska executes first inmate using fentanyl

LINCOLN, Neb. — Nebraska carried out its first execution in more than… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month