Mission 2030 Guest Post: Jennifer Lehmann Attended an NGPF Conference and Came Back to School With a Plan
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
Jennifer Lehmann is an educator at H. Frank Carey High School in Franklin Square, New York. Her district received the 161st-165th Gold Standard Challenge grants for guaranteeing a personal finance course for all high school students before graduation. Here is Jen describing Carey High’s journey to the Gold Standard in financial education.
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?
In November 2019, I attended an NGPF conference through Long Island Business Teachers Association and heard about the Gold Standard Challenge. After that conference, a brief discussion ensued about the Gold Standard Challenge and mandating financial literacy. Due to COVID, we did not continue that conversation. In November 2021, there was a discussion with the Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent where I presented a proposal to mandate financial literacy and both were very receptive to the idea. We moved quickly to mandate the class and in February 2022 it was presented and approved by the board of education.
What challenges did you encounter in your efforts to make personal finance a graduation requirement, and what solutions did you find for these challenges?
I did not face any challenges as our entire school community is very supportive of mandating personal finance and understands the importance of providing students with financial literacy skills.
What/who were the "catalysts for change" that allowed your efforts to be successful?
My “catalysts for change” were Dr. James Grossane, Superintendent, Dr. Taryn Johnson, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, and the Sewanhaka CHSD Board of Education.