Mar 01, 2022

Mission 2030 Guest Post: Mary Stockham Pushed the Necessity to Teach Students Life Skills

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

Mary Stockham is an educator at Pinnacle Classical Academy in Shelby, North Carolina. Their school is the 136th recipient of the Gold Standard Challenge grant. Here is Mary describing Pinnacle Classical’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?

North Carolina has adopted the Personal Finance class for freshmen next year for graduation, but I pestered the board about how important this class was. Our charter school adopted the class as required for graduation this year. I have used many NGPF materials teaching this class.

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 class will be required NEXT year, but I pushed the necessity to teach students these life skills. So we adopted the class this school year. I told the board "if a student makes the average annual salary in the US of $40,000, in 10 years, they would have $400,000 pass through their hands. We need to teach students to have something to show for that $400K"!

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

NGPF and NCCEE. They both provided materials that gave me the teaching materials to have confidence in providing a new course with no book as a guide.

Which stakeholders (students, parents, admin, business leaders, school board, etc) were helpful partners in your quest to make the graduation requirement happen?

Debbie Clary, School board member, founding member of the Charter school, former member of the NC House of Rep., Angela Brooks, asst dean of HS.

About the Author

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