Energizing Your Future

ATC employees help students prepare for life during Junior Achievement’s Finance Park

The average teenager rarely thinks about buying health insurance, paying bills or applying for a mortgage, but those are critical life skills.

On Jan. 31, American Transmission Co. employees helped more than 100 eighth grade students from two Milwaukee middle schools understand the importance of personal finance and their personal career choices during a visit to JA Finance Park.

ATC volunteers guided groups of 5-10 students through simulated family and income scenarios and helped them create a budget, allocate expense items (e.g., mortgage payments, groceries, childcare, etc.) and make personal investments. In many scenarios, students were the sole providers for their family and had to consider how to accommodate the needs of their family without overspending.

“I like volunteering and making a positive impact on our youth,” said one ATC employee. “When you start getting to know the children, they let you in. They’ll tell you some of their hopes and dreams. It was also fun to see their shock over how much things cost.”

Mouths dropped at the cost of childcare. One student was frustrated that she couldn’t even afford to purchase an “ugly” car and would have to take public transportation. Many students found they needed to revise their budgets after quickly overspending on entertainment or clothing.

In the end, the students left with a better understanding of the importance of staying in school and getting an education in order to be financially successful as an adult.

Vice President of Audit and Risk Management Juanita Banks, who organized ATC’s participation in the event, has been involved with Junior Achievement for over four years. “ATC employees truly care about giving back to our communities. Helping students gain a better understanding of personal finance and the importance of staying in school is just another great example of our employees’ involvement in the community,” said Banks.

Junior Achievement is the world’s largest organization dedicated to inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in a global economy.