For Immediate Release:
April 19, 2018
Jennifer A Connolly
Junior Achievement of Western Massachusetts
Swanton, VT – Jessica Szafarski, is new to Vermont and a business teacher at Missisquoi Valley Union High School in Swanton. As a teacher in Florida, Jessica partnered with Junior Achievement to bring JA’s financial literacy, entrepreneurial and work readiness programs to her students. Szafarski wanted to bring Junior Achievement programs to her students in Swanton, but all JA programs are delivered by volunteers, so who would be willing to volunteer their time and talent in her classroom? Citizens Bank answered the call and stepped up to enlist volunteers to support JA Finance Park Virtual.
The program helps students build a foundation upon which they can make intelligent lifelong financial decisions, including those related to income, expenses, savings, and credit.The JA Finance Park program is composed of 13 required teacher-taught, in-class lessons and is supported by volunteers sharing their expertise on the topics reviewed. It culminates in a hands-on budgeting simulation that is implemented on the JA Finance Park Virtal site.
Junior Achievement of Western Massachusetts which supports JA programs in Vermont as well, introduced Maria Tubbs, Program Manager, AVP of Community Development for Citizens Bank to Szafarski and a partnership was created. A team of Citizens Bank volunteers from St. Albans, Burlington and Shelburne, will talk with Szafarski’s students about financial instituitions, student loans, taxes and earnings, and credit, between February and May.
“Our colleagues at Citizens Bank are eager to volunteer and share their knowledge with the students at Missisquoi Valley Union High School. We understand that providing financial education to youth puts them on a path to making sound financial decisions as adults. Citizens Bank is pleased to support the programs offered by Junior Achievement of Western Massachussetts and are excited to develop the partnership with MVU High School.” –Maria Tubbs, AVP Community Development Citizens Bank.
“It is terrific to be able to expand JA programs in Vermont and to have Citizens Bank come forward to partner with Missisquoi Valley Union High School is outstanding.” said Jennifer Connolly, President of Junior Achievement of Western Massachusetts. “It can sometimes be challenging to coordinate programming from long distance but working with Ms. Tubbs and Mrs. Szafarski has been a pleasure and we look forward to seeing JA growing in northern VT.”
Jessica Szafarski, Business Teacher at Missisquoi Valley Union High School noted, “Not everyone is given the opportunity to learn how to save money, take out a loan, budget, invest, etc. and it is imperative for this generation of students to learn how to manage their money. Thanks to our Business Department at MVU, Junior Achievement, and Citizens Bank, our students will have the chance to learn these critical life skills. This partnership will lead to a brighter future for our students and our community. I am excited to provide this unique opportunity to an awesome group of students to help prepare them for their roles as citizens, consumers, and workers.”
About Citizens Financial Group, Inc.
Citizens Financial Group, Inc. is one of the nation’s oldest and largest financial institutions, with $152.3 billion in assets as of December 31, 2017. Headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island, Citizens offers a broad range of retail and commercial banking products and services to individuals, small businesses, middle-market companies, large corporations and institutions. Citizens helps its customers reach their potential by listening to them and by understanding their needs in order to offer tailored advice, ideas and solutions. In Consumer Banking, Citizens provides an integrated experience that includes mobile and online banking, a 24/7 customer contact center and the convenience of approximately 3,300 ATMs and approximately 1,150 branches in 11 states in the New England, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions. Consumer Banking products and services include a full range of banking, lending, savings, wealth management and small business offerings. In Commercial Banking, Citizens offers corporate, institutional and not-for-profit clients a full range of wholesale banking products and services, including lending and deposits, capital markets, treasury services, foreign exchange and interest rate products, and asset finance. More information is available at www.citizensbank.com or visit us on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook.
About Junior Achievement of Western Massachusetts
Junior Achievement of Western Massachusetts was founded in Springfield, MA in 1919 and is the birthplace of JA. Today more than 12,000 students in grades K-12 in Western MA and Vermont participate in JA programs annually. For more information, visit www.jawm.org.