Mission 2030 Guest Post: Jacob Yaeger's Biggest Challenge was Explaining why Personal Finance is Essential to Student Success
Find out how one key stakeholder made the difference in getting a guaranteed personal finance course at the Edwards-Knox Central School in Hermon, New York
The following post is one in a series of inspiring stories from NGPF's Gold Standard Challenge Grant Program which incentivizes high schools and districts to commit to ALL students taking personal finance courses before graduation. Learn more, and apply for your $2,500 to $30,000 Gold Standard Challenge Grant before the August 31, 2022 deadline here.
About Today's Guest Author
Jacob Yaeger is an educator at Edwards-Knox Central School in Hermon, New York whose school is the 168th recipient of the Gold Standard Challenge grant. Here is Jacob describing Edwards-Knox Central’s journey to the Gold Standard.
Describe a rough timeline for how you and/or your colleagues were able to advocate for personal finance to become a graduation requirement in your school/district. How long did it take? What were the major progress milestones?
I was hired roughly three years ago, and within a year, they decided to make it a graduation requirement for our students. The course was previously a requirement by NYS for only vocational students, but our administration decided it would be an excellent course for ALL students to take!
What challenges did you encounter in your efforts to make personal finance a graduation requirement, and what solutions did you find for these challenges?
The greatest challenge was buy-in from the students! "Why do we need to take this?" "I guess this is a requirement now?" I found a solution to offer as many Business Related courses to help students better understand why a foundational course is essential to their success. I also found that adjusting my Family & Consumer Science class to be more "pre-Career & Finance Management" would serve as a feeder course for the high school one.
What/who were the "catalysts for change" that allowed your efforts to be successful?
My principal and her ambition for our students to be the "best they can be!"
Which stakeholders (students, parents, admin, business leaders, school board, etc) were helpful partners in your quest to make the graduation requirement happen?
My principal was a huge help and pushed the agenda in the first place. Ms. Sykes always strives for the best for her students, and she believes that by providing vital business education, students will have some critical skills to be successful in life. Especially coming from a rural community where job opportunities are scarce, and many students tend to lean towards entrepreneurial careers in construction.