Mar 22, 2022
Advocacy

Mission 2030 Guest Post: Sarah Gracey Planted the Seed for Personal Finance at her School

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

Sarah Gracey is an educator at Kiski Area High School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Their school is the 141st recipient of the Gold Standard Challenge grant. Here is Sarah describing Kiski Area’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?

We began planting the seed in our principal's mind last Spring and mentioned it again at the beginning of the year. He was fully on board from the beginning because he understands the importance of personal finance and the need for students to have the opportunity to learn about it.

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

There were a few challenges. We already have a required course in our department and we would have found it hard to convince the district to allow us to have two required courses. So we decided that personal finance was more important for all of our students than the computer course that we currently require.

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

Ann Valeski, who is another teacher in my department, and I were the catalysts for the change and once we spoke to our principal he kept up the momentum all the way to the finish line.

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

Our principal was our biggest advocate. He presented the information to the Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent who then discussed it with the board. Our School Board had no issues with the plan and one of them was very excited to hear that we were making the switch.

About the Author

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