Oct 20, 2016

NGPF Podcast: Tim Talks to Educator Jill Thompson About Developing Career-Readiness Skills


It was great to have Jill Thompson, an NGPF Fellow and teacher at Kelly Walsh High School (Casper, WY), on the podcast recently. She has a real passion for preparing her students for careers and shares the activities and projects she uses to educate and engage her students. She also discusses how she was able to transform personal finance from an elective course to a graduation requirement at her high school. Enjoy the conversation with an inspiring educator!


  • 0:00~1:04 – Introduction
  • 1:04~1:52 – Jill’s day job
  • 1:52~4:00 – How to turn personal finance from an elective to a graduation requirement
  • 4:00~5:28 – Differences in class enrollment
  • 5:28~6:54 – Building a course for all students
  • 6:54~11:02 – First activity of the year
  • 11:02~14:00 – Organizing a job shadow in her community
  • 14:00~ 17:14- Partnership with the community college
  • 17:14~19:06 – Mock application and interview
  • 19:06~21:00 – Creating LinkedIn Accounts
  • 21:00~25:45 – Making project-based learning work
  • 25:45~26:48 – Alums coming back to class
  • 26:48~32:31 – Favorite project
  • 32:31~32:54 – Word from our sponsor, Next Gen Personal Finance
  • 32:54~36:43 – Student blind spots
  • 36:43~37:25 – Right amount of student debt
  • 37:25~38:01 – Index funds versus stocks
  • 38:01~38:11 – Best financial habit
  • 38:11~38:47 – Billboard in front of every high school
  • 38:47~39:05 – Best item bought under $10
  • 39:05~39:58 – Advice to younger self
  • 39:58~40:59 – Motivation to teach personal finance
  • 40:59~41:57 – Conclusion


  • “Live on cash: have a budget, follow a budget, make adjustments if necessary.”
  • “If teachers have the chance to network, [personal finance] curriculum will get better.”


About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.

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