Apr 19, 2022

Mission 2030 Guest Post: Janelle Blakney's Two-Year Process Paid Off When the Board Approved Financial Literacy in the Classroom

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

Janelle Blakney is an educator at Wenatchee High School in Wenatchee, Washington. Their school is the 167th recipient of the Gold Standard Challenge grant. Here is Janelle describing Wenatchee’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?

It has been a two-year process to get this passed by our school board. I am a middle school math teacher and am also on the YACET board. I have been working with NGPF and YACET with my school to have financial literacy in my classroom here at middle school. Through outreach to our high school teachers, I started working with our CTE director who was completely on board and he took it from there. He made a presentation to the school board, they had lots of questions for us to answer, we worked on getting the answers, and then were able to be put back on the school board agenda. The presentation went well and over the next two meetings, they approved the plan.

What challenges did you encounter in your efforts to make personal finance a graduation requirement, and what solutions did you find for these challenges?

It was a challenge getting all the information gathered that the school board wanted at first, then with COVID trying to have this be a priority was difficult as well. It kept getting pushed back or off the agenda. We eventually kept pursuing it and it worked out.

What/who were the "catalysts for change" that allowed your efforts to be successful?

The catalysts for change that allowed our efforts to be successful included a few people: Jacob Bucholz, Eric Anderson, Janelle Blakney, Kory Kalahar, Paul Gordon, and Martin Barron.

About the Author

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