Mission 2030 Guest Post: Melissa Kapustka Assures Students have Knowledge for a Lifetime
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 the Author
Melissa Kapustka is a passionate teacher at Loup City Public Schools in Loup City, Nebraska. Her school was the 42nd recipient of the NGPF Gold Standard Challenge grant, which guarantees all students learn about Personal Finance in a standalone course. Here is Melissa describing Loup City’s journey to the Gold Standard in her own words:
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?
Once I found out about the NGPF Gold Standard Challenge grant, I immediately applied. Personal Finance is a crucial piece in a students' education. It is truly the one class that students can utilize for their lifetime. When I found out that I was eligible I went directly to my principal, Mr. Josh Asche, who was extremely supportive. He paved the way for me by being instrumental in helping me on the November Board Meeting Agenda through discussions with our superintendent, Ms. Angela Simpson. Ms. Simpson approved for me to be placed on the board minutes. Once I presented the topics covered in the class and my passion for Personal Finance, I had community and board support. It was just a matter of it fitting into the board’s schedule for approval of the curriculum.
What challenges did you encounter in your efforts to make personal finance a graduation requirement, and what solutions did you find for these challenges?
Honestly, I feel extremely fortunate to be supported by our community, board, and administration. Personal Finance is such a crucial part of a well-rounded education. When we talk about having our students career and/or college-ready, we have to recognize that they cannot be without Personal Finance. I believe this subject was an easy one for everyone to support. I want to thank everyone in Loup City for their support.
What/who were the "catalysts for change" that allowed your efforts to be successful?
Again, I have to contribute the success to my principal, superintendent, and our board. I talked to Mr. Ashe, and as a result I was presenting to the board within a few days.