Minnesota Jump$tart Members Serve as Judges in Local High School’s Shark Tank Competition

Members from Minnesota Jump$tart recently had the fortunate opportunity to serve as judges in Maranatha Christian Academy’s inaugural entrepreneurial “Shark Tank” competition

Juniors and Seniors at Maranatha have spent a significant portion of the term learning about what it takes to develop an idea into a viable business, core fundamentals for every entrepreneur!   In addition to developing their business ideas and presentations for the “Shark Tank” judges, the students have created a business model canvas, a value proposition and a one page written synopsis of their businesses.

The “Shark Tank” competition started off with 8 teams.  Judges were asked to evaluate the students based on criteria that included presentation skills, viability of the business, analysis of the market for the product or service and assessment of the competitive environment.

After much deliberation from the judges, congratulations are in order for Sidekicks and K-Kase.  Sidekicks, is an app-based preventative and protective service that aims to help female college students avoid dangerous situations with an emphasis on preventing sexual assault.  K-Kase created the concept of a protective smart phone case that charges devices through kinetic energy (energy created through movement and motion).

Upon completion of the competition at Maranatha, Sidekicks and K-Kase will move on to a multi-school competition at the University of Minnesota during the second week of January.  Best of luck to both teams as they move forward!


Minnesota Jump$tart Hosts Financial Literacy Bootcamp for Teachers


Minnesota Jump$tart partnered with NextGen Personal Finance to host a Financial Bootcamp for over 50 teachers from across the state of Minnesota.

NextGen Personal Finance is a non-profit organization that was formed to connect educators with free resources, professional development and advocacy tools in order to equip students with the knowledge and skills to lead financially successful and fulfilling lives.  NGPF offers a free high-school personal finance curriculum and professional development partner helping teachers deliver essential money understanding in an easy-to-grasp, engaging way.

The event started off with a welcome address from a representative from the Minnesota Department of Education, comments from Bill Cheeks, President of Jump$tart and a message from Minnesota Jump$tart president, Karyn Thompson.

After introductions, the teachers participated in workshops focused on budgeting with roommates, an introduction to credit scores, teaching through interactives and investments.  Throughout the day, the teachers in attendance were continuously providing each other with feedback and sharing resources with one another.  It was truly inspirational to see the level of engagement the teachers had and their commitment to improving the financial literacy Minnesota’s students!

We are extremely grateful to the Minnesota Department of Education for hosting the event and to our partners Everfi, University of Minnesota Extension, Junior Achievement, TopLine Federal Credit Union and BestPrep, who were on-site to provide the teacher attendees with a wealth of information and resources to use in the classroom.

Minnesota Jump$tart Scholarship Recipient Attends Annual Jump$tart Conference


Minnesota Jump$tart was proud to be able to offer a scholarship to Rosemount’s Kyle Paulson to attend the Annual Jump$tart Conference.  Kyle was kind enough to share with us his thoughts after attending the conference.

The National Jump$tart Coalition puts on an amazing conference.  So much information is packed into such a short period of time.  While at the conference I attended four different sessions.  The first began before the conference and was an investing workshop for educators.  The speaker really focused on differentiating loanership (bonds) and ownership (stock).  I have never focused on bonds in my investments class due to the small knowledge I know with them; however, this course really opened my eyes to their importance and the need to teach about them.  The speaker also taught a little about the importance of wills, power of attorney, and medical directives.

The second session I attended was the H&R Block Budget Challenge.  This year I began utilizing the program, but have failed at properly implementing the program.  Taking this session I found that I implemented the program incorrectly, into the wrong course, and answered several questions I had.  This program is best to supplement my budgeting unit, I need to take more time out of my current curriculum to explain check registry, check payments, and how to budget credit card payments.

The next session was credit reporting resources for the classroom.  I currently spend a day or two on credit reports and this is exactly what the instructor stated should be taken.  A huge focus of this unit in the classroom should be spent on what is in the report, and not the credit score number.  The reason for this is that each credit reporting agency uses a different formula, but all utilize the same information within the report.  Students should also look to see that all three reporting agencies should have the same information, if not this should be reported.  The final piece of this session was focused on how the information within the report can effect jobs, and credit worthiness when it comes to loans and leases.

The final session I took was Insurance 101 for Teen Drivers.  I briefly talk about car insurance in my course and relied upon students to learn about this insurance in their driver’s education course.  As a driving instructor for the district I realize the importance of this unit, but didn’t know how to implement it into my course.  Upon taking this course I received great curriculum and how to address it with students.  The main focus of this session was on how bad driving effects insurance rates as a whole, the different types of auto insurance, and how to reduce the cost of vehicle insurance.

The conference offers a lot of information for you to take in; however, sometimes there is too much information and not enough time.  The first suggestion I would give to future participants is to network, network, and do more networking.  The best way to do this is at the social events in the evening.  Networking will help you in a few ways.  The first is you can’t attend every session, and often times there will be 2 or 3 that you will want to attend.  Finding others who attended those sessions will allow you to get the materials from the session, and a brief synopsis of the session.  The individuals you network with add to your curriculum ideas and often time materials.

The next thing to keep in mind is that courses fill up quickly, so you may have to register for a course that is not interesting to you; however, attendance at sessions are not taken so if you change your mind last minute go to the course that will benefit you them most.  This also means that if you begin a session and it is not what you expected, find a different session to attend.  When looking at the courses, also look at your current curriculum.  If you are utilizing some of the materials, software, or other programs offered during a session and have questions about how to better utilize what you are currently using.  I attended H&R Block Budget Challenge which I began utilizing a few months ago and hadn’t had much success doing so.  After attending I had a lot of questions answered, figured out I was utilizing it in the wrong course, and how better to incorporate the program into my curriculum.

The final piece of advice I have is to attend the Exhibit Hall, but to wait till half way through to go.  It is a mad scramble of educators and you don’t get the one-on-one time with the vendors until about an hour into it.  This is an opportunity to find new curriculum, meet with vendors, and also network with current educators utilizing some of the programs.

Minnesota Jump$tart could not be more excited for Kyle. The conference was a great experience and provided Kyle with a number of resources to use in the classroom and allowed him to expand his network.  We look forward to providing additional scholarships in future years to help teachers attend this event.

If you would like to  learn more about Minnesota Jump$tart and its efforts to help promote financial education, you can contact us at  minnesota.jumpstart@gmail.com.


Minnesota Jump$tart Awards Two Scholarships to Attend Annual Jump$tart Conference

Minnesota Jump$tart is extremely proud to announce that it has awarded scholarships two scholarships to attend the annual Jump$tart Teacher’s Conference to two Minnesota teachers.  Recipients of the scholarships this year are Kyle Paulson from Rosemount High School and Kim DeLong from Murray County Central.

Kyle Paulson teaches Personal Money Management to approximately 250 students in grades 9-12 at Rosemount High School.  In the Personal Money Management class, Kyle helps his students work through personal finance concepts including, but not limited to Career Exploration, Budgeting / Checkbook Registry (if that isn’t a dying art), Personal Income Taxes, Banking, Insurance and Credit / Debt Management.

Kyle is looking to build on the creativity that he brings to the classroom through activities including guest speakers, field trips and simulations and is hopeful that the Jump$tart Conference will provide him with additional resources.  Kyle is hoping to better his understanding other resources are available, network with finance professionals and other teachers and further his knowledge and understanding in areas where my students struggle most (credit, and budgeting).  In addition, Kyle hopes to learn about new materials, simulations and projects that can be used in the classroom to further engage students.

Kim DeLong teaches a variety of courses including Personal Finance, Business Economics, Senior Transitions, Business Management and yearbook at Murray County Central that incorporate elements of personal finance.  Through this wide assortment of classes, Kim has been able to introduce concepts such as saving, budgeting, credit / debt, supply and demand, markets, taxes, entrepreneurship and business operations to her students.  Kim has even taught her Yearbook students to treat the creation of the annual yearbook as a business, including selling ads to raise revenue, thinking through creative solutions to be able to offer the yearbook at the lowest possible price while ensuring the overall project at least breaks even.

Looking ahead to the Jump$tart Conference, Kim is excited to meet representatives that are promoting and providing curriculum, as well as to have the opportunity to get hands on experience with a variety of resources before introducing new material to students.  Kim is also hopeful that attendance will provide her with additional resources to pursue her ultimate goal, which is to have her district require personal finance as a graduation requirement. Financial literacy is not discussed in every home.

We hope that attendance at the conference will meet both Kyle and Kim’s expectations and that they will be better equipped as they continue to do their great work in their respective classrooms.

Free Professional Development Workshop for Educators Teaching Personal Finance on November 29!


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Through the help of a grant from NextGen Personal Finance, the Minnesota Department of Education and Minnesota Jump$tart Coalition will be hosting a FREE one-day professional development workshop on November 29 for educators teaching personal finance, or educators wanting to incorporate personal finance into their curriculum. FACS, business and other teachers are invited to join us!

Staff from NextGen will be using this time to facilitate a FinCamp, which includes content to grow your knowledge, lesson plan ideas and resources, collaboration with other educators to share best practices, and customized recommendations based on individual classroom and student needs.

Learn more about the great things to expect from a FinCamp by watching this video and register here!


Date: November 29, 2017

Time: 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Location: MN Department of Education, 1500 MN-36, Roseville, MN 55113

What to bring: Your laptop, energy, and ideas!

If you’re looking for ways to freshen up your personal-finance curriculum, or need the right resources and ideas to bring critical personal-finance lessons into your classroom, this is the workshop for you.

Door prizes will be given away throughout the day, including resources for students and the classroom, and exhibitors will be set up for you to learn even more about various free personal-finance content and curriculum.

Participants will earn a $150 stipend for attending to help with substitute teacher or other costs. The registration is limited to 80 educators, so register now!

Register now! Need more info or have questions? Contact Laura at laura@nextgenpersonalfinance.org. We look forward to seeing you on November 29!

Your Money, Your Goals Financial Empowerment Session Coming Soon


The University of Minnesota Extension is offering training sessions In October that will provide financial empowerment trainers, case managers and other frontline staff with the following:

  • An orientation to Your Money, Your Goals, a toolkit created by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), for social services programs;
  • The tools, knowledge and confidence to help your constituency meet their financial goals by increasing their knowledge, skills, and resources.
  • Two levels of trainings are offered – for those who are not familiar with the “Your Money, Your Goals” (new trainers), as well as, for those who are familiar with the Toolkit (returning trainers).

Topics covered during this session will include:

  • Financial empowerment assessment
  • Starting the conversation
  • Emotions, values, culture, and money decisions
  • Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)
  • Savings for emergencies, bills, and goals
  • Tracking and managing income and benefits
  • Paying bills and other expenses
  • Getting through the month — managing cash flow
  • Credit and debt
  • Consumer protection
  • Financial products, services, and providers

If you or someone you know would be interested in attending this great learning event, registration information for in-person training sessions can be found at YMYG In-Person Training and for webinar trainings information can be found at YMYG Webinar. In person sites will have a $15.00 fee that will cover refreshments and lunch. Participants will receive a FREE toolkit and a certificate of attendance.

CFPB’s “Your Money, Your Goals” Brought to You by the U of M



The U of M Extension is offering a training on Your Money, Your Goals programming through the CFPB.

Join the University of Minnesota Extension for an in-person or virtual webinar training to learn more about the Your Money, Your Goals toolkit created by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The toolkit provides resources and programming educators and financial education facilitators can implement to help their students better understand and work through their financial situation and goals. Learn more about and sign up for the training sessions here. You can also access the Your Money, Your Goals toolkit here.”

In summary:

What: In-person & webinar trainings on Your Money, Your Goals (YMYG), a financial empowerment toolkit

Who: Social service staff, case managers, frontline staff/trainers, direct service providers, and others who provide financial education, coaching and/or mentoring

Why: The toolkit will assist you, as a financial empowerment provider, as you offer high quality, unbiased financial information, education and tools to individuals and families to become financially empowered.  The YMYG Toolkit was created by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).  The training sessions and webinars will be delivered by Extension Educators from the University of Minnesota Extension Center for Family Development.

When/Where: 7 sites + 4 webinars will be held during September & October 2017.  Dates and locations can be found on this web page.