Mission 2030 Guest Post: Michelle Bruna Advocated for a Personal Finance Requirement for 10 Years and Now Her Persistence Has Paid Off
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
Michelle Bruna is an educator at Washington County High School in Washington, Kansas. Their school is the 98th recipient of the Gold Standard Challenge grant. Here is Michelle describing Washington County’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?
Making personal finance a graduation requirement is something I have asked for under each of my principals for the last 10 years. In Kansas, schools are in different stages of Redesign, a state project. We are in Year 2 and I think the idea of reforming our school plus a new principal helped me finally pass the hurdle of "we should do that" to allowing me to present at the school board meeting.
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 challenges were our principal and our guidance counselor. They were against adding a credit even though we have one of the state’s lowest number of graduation credits. We needed to change that and a personal finance requirement was what we needed.
What/who were the "catalysts for change" that allowed your efforts to be successful?
The Redesign process is a state initiative in Kansas. It is a process to help schools "rethink" how they do business and make changes to help our students in a changing world. My new principal was an important person for this change.