Jump$tart Board Members Serve on Financial Literacy Panel


Last month, two members of the Jump$tart Board sat on a panel to discuss resources available to support youth financial literacy. The panel was part of a workshop hosted by the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Minnesota Department of Education Library Services. The goal of the workshop was to help librarians feel comfortable in supporting their communities with financial literacy and creating spaces in libraries for youth to have access to financial literacy resources. The panel shared their experiences in teaching financial education to youth, key financial literacy issues youth should be exposed to (money management and budgeting, saving and investing, credit, identity theft, student loans, etc.) and specific tools, curriculum and resources attendees could access to support youth financial literacy in their libraries and communities.

Personal Finance Career Options on Display at the Minneapolis Public School’s STEM Expo


We had a great time at the 2019 Minneapolis Public School STEM Expo this week!

At the MPS STEM and Career Exploration Expo, students explore a variety of career options that require a strong academic foundation in science, math, technology, engineering, design thinking, and problem-solving skills. Business professionals provide short demonstrations related to their careers and talk in this small group setting about the realistic steps and obstacles in pursuing a STEM career. Students visit exhibitor displays to learn more about after-school and community STEM activities, post-secondary college and career readiness options, and Minnesota STEM-related businesses.

The primary mission of the STEM Expo is to ensure that all students learn; and support their growth into knowledgeable, skilled and confident citizens capable of succeeding in their work, personal and family life into the 21st century.  Goals of the STEM & Career Exploration Expo are to change student perceptions of STEM and high tech, high wage careers, explore related career possibilities, and share the information regarding educational pathways required to realize those opportunities.

The STEM Expo provides students with the chance to find relevance in their STEM coursework and understand how it will impact their future career options by encouraging interactions with STEM professionals from industry and post-secondary institutions.

We’re Going to the State Capitol on April 11!

We are excited to share details about our Annual Event on April 11, 2019. This year, our event theme is Advancing Financial Education for Youth – Awareness Day at the State Capitol. We will be speaking with legislators at the Capitol about financial literacy in Minnesota.
Our event will be smaller this year due to the nature of the activities at the Capitol. If you are interested in joining us, please RSVP via EventBrite
If you attend with us, we will send additional details before the event.
We will be sure to follow up with this group after the event to share results of our meetings with legislators and other updates.
Thank you for your partnership in raising awareness of youth financial literacy and the work you are doing to provide financial education across Minnesota!

State Senator Steve Cwodzinski Attends Board Meeting


Cwodzinski Portrait.jpg

Minnesota Jump$tart was fortunate to have Minnesota state senator Steve Cwodzinski attend the most recent Board meeting.  Steve spent time with our organization to give his views on current legislative priorities and answer questions about personal finance in the classroom.  Key observations and points made by Senator Cwodzinski included the following:

–          There can be challenges ensuring any new requirements fit into existing curriculums (e.g. if something is mandated, something else is likely to have to be removed);

–          Stated that individuals and organizations that would like to see personal finance taught in the classroom should contact their respective representatives in the legislature;

–          Recommended that Minnesota Jump$tart and other partner organizations continue to provide support to local classrooms and schools;

–          Highlighted that rallies at the Capitol are a great way to advocate for specific issues and connect with representatives in the legislature.

Minnesota Jump$tart would once again like to thank Senator Cwodzinski for taking the time to meet with us and answer our questions.  We wish him the best of luck as he continues to be strong advocate on behalf of Minnesota students in the legislature.

Minnesota Jump$tart and the Minnesota Credit Union Network Hold Financial Capability Event

90 individuals from business, finance, academia, education, and government committed to providing financial education took part in a Life Simulation designed to help sensitize participants to the financial needs of low-wage working families.

 Held at the University of Minnesota Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center (UROC), the event was a partnership between the http://www.mncun.org and the https://mnjumpstart.wordpress.com.

“The life simulation experience is meant to deepen educators’ commitment to their most vulnerable community members and encourage understanding of the intense pressure financial difficulties put on individuals” said MnCUN President & CEO Mark Cummins.

During the three-hour activity, participants were grouped into “families” struggling to make ends meet in a simulated month of four fifteen-minute weeks. Each participant played a unique role within the family. These simulated families visited a variety of booths, including a school, employer, pawn shop and payday lender. Through the exercise, they encountered events and financial crises faced by many low-income Americans, including eviction, loss of utilities, lack of reliable transportation, crime, and the moment-to-moment stress of making ends meet. At the conclusion of the exercise participants shared their experiences and emotions in a powerful debriefing session.

“The Jump$tart board sought to provide an engaging experience to demonstrate the importance of personal finance in the everyday context of diverse households,” Minnesota Jump$tart Coalition Board President Karyn Thompson said. “The Life Simulation was a natural choice and we are thankful for the Minnesota Credit Union Network’s partnership.”

In addition to the Life Simulation, attendees heard remarks from Minnesota Department of Commerce Commissioner Jessica Looman. Looman praised attendees for their work in financial capability and underscored the department’s role as a resource for consumers’ financial wellbeing.

 The Minnesota Jump$tart Coalitionis part of the national Jump$tart Coalition for Financial Literacy, which brings together individuals and organizations to improve the personal financial literacy of Minnesota’s Youth. The Coalition hosts an annual event or conference in April in celebration of National Financial Literacy Month. Other events and activities have included networking events for partners, webinars for young adults, scholarships for teachers to attend the national conference, a young adult mentoring program, and more. Minnesota Jump$tart can be found on social media on Facebook and Twitter (@mnjumpstart)

 The Minnesota Credit Union Networkis the statewide trade association that works to ensure the success, growth and vitality of Minnesota credit unions. With nearly $20 billion in assets, Minnesota credit unions are local, trusted financial cooperatives that serve more than 1.6 million members at almost 400 branch locations around the state. As not-for-profit institutions, credit unions give back to the communities they serve. For more information, visit www.mncun.org

Registration is Now Open for the April Event!



On Thursday April 26, 2018, Minnesota Jump$tart will hold its annual April Event.  This year’s event will be held at the University of Minnesota Urban Research and Outreach Center located at 2001 Plymouth Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55411

During the three-hour activity, attendee’s will be grouped into “families” who are struggling to make ends meet in a simulated month divided into four fifteen-minute “weeks”. Each participant will play a unique role within the family. These simulated families will have a chance to visit a variety of booths that include a school, employer, pawn shop and payday lender.

The event is free but registration is required. We are capping the event at 100 participants and suggest early registration. To register, click here.

The agenda for the event includes:

3:00– Registration and gathering

3:15– Welcome from Jump$tart

3:20– MN Commissioner of Commerce, Jessica Looman, Event Kick off

3:30– Overview of how the simulation works

3:45– Round 1 of life simulation begins

There will be 4 rounds with a 10 minute strategy time in between each round

5:25– End of life simulation and break

5:40– De-brief the life simulation and enjoy refreshments

6:15– End

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!