A three-year partnership between Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) and Junior Achievement of Arizona (JAAZ) is proving to be a major driver in JAAZ’s efforts to empower young people to own their economic success.
The financial institution’s commitment of nearly $250,000 over three years is allowing JAAZ to expand its financial education programs, particularly with seventh and eighth grade students.
“MassMutual is proud to support the great work of Junior Achievement of Arizona and the impact it will have on the financial futures of thousands of young people in our communities,” said Nick Fyntrilakis, vice president, community responsibility, MassMutual. “Smart money management is critical to financial success. Helping students understand those concepts at a young age will assist them in planning for their future and avoid the financial pitfalls that so many families struggle with today.”
The partnership supports two fundamental middle school programs: JA Economics for Success for seventh-graders and JA Personal Finance for eighth-graders, which combined will serve approximately 7,500 students.
Joyce Richards, JAAZ’s president, said programs like these are critical to establishing a level of financial literacy among students, particularly in lower income areas where the information is much needed.
“Being able to equip these students with the knowledge they need to manage their finances and give them the tools needed to understand what it takes to gain financial independence is so important,” Richards said. “We are having an impact in helping break the cycle of kids having no understanding of budgeting and fiscal responsibility.”
This spring, more than 40 MassMutual employees from the company’s office in Phoenix and financial professionals from MassMutual’s general agency in Scottsdale have volunteered in eight schools, instructing the students in the two programs. There is one more in-school volunteer day, known as JA Days, this school year.
June 2 at Estrella Vista Elementary School, 11905 W. Cocopah Circle North in Avondale, teaching both seventh and eighth graders.
The program will then resume in the fall.
JAAZ and MassMutual kicked off the partnership earlier this year with the Phoenix Suns to bring MassMutual’s FutureSmartSM Challenge to Phoenix. The one-day event brought thousands of local students to the US Airways Center for a financial education seminar facilitated by acclaimed actor and author Hill Harper.
About Junior Achievement of Arizona
Junior Achievement of Arizona is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization which believes that every child deserves an education in economics and finances in order to inspire and prepare them for success in a global economy. Serving Arizona’s youth since 1957, JA prepares young people for the real world by showing them how to become self-sufficient, how to create jobs which make their communities robust, and how to apply entrepreneurial thinking to the workplace. Junior Achievement of Arizona will reach more than 100,000 students during the 2013-2014 school year. For more information on Junior Achievement or ways to get involved, call (480) 377-8500 or visit www.jaaz.org.
Junior Achievement is the world's largest organization dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their future, and make smart academic and economic choices. JA programs are delivered by corporate and community volunteers, and provide relevant, hands-on experiences that give students from kindergarten through high school knowledge and skills in financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship. Today, JA reaches 4.4 million students per year in 118 markets across the United States, with an additional 5.8 million students served by operations in 120 other countries worldwide. Visit www.ja.org for more information.
Founded in 1851, MassMutual is a leading mutual life insurance company that is run for the benefit of its members and participating policyowners. The company has a long history of financial strength and strong performance, and although dividends are not guaranteed, MassMutual has paid dividends to eligible participating policyholders consistently since the 1860s. With whole life insurance as its foundation, MassMutual provides products to help meet the financial needs of clients, such as life insurance, disability income insurance, long term care insurance, retirement/401(k) plan services, and annuities. In addition, the company’s strong and growing network of financial professionals helps clients make good financial decisions for the long-term.
MassMutual Financial Group is a marketing name for Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) and its affiliated companies and sales representatives. MassMutual is headquartered in Springfield, Massachusetts and its major affiliates include: Babson Capital Management LLC; Baring Asset Management Limited; Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers LLC; The First Mercantile Trust Company; MassMutual International LLC; MML Investors Services, LLC, Member FINRA and SIPC; OppenheimerFunds, Inc.; and The MassMutual Trust Company, FSB.