Minnesota Jump$tart’s Partner Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest is Moving to St. Paul


Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest (JAUM) announced a campaign to move the organization’s headquarters from Maplewood to the more centrally located Midway neighborhood in St. Paul. The Let’s Build campaign will enable JAUM to double the number of students served by its on-site experiential programs from 17,000 to 34,000. The campaign will also grow the Junior Achievement Foundation of the Upper Midwest, providing the organization with funding to meet new demands for program expansion, operating needs, technology upgrades and the ability to continue providing our programs to local schools at little or no cost. JAUM has purchased an existing building at 1745 University Ave W. in St. Paul, which will be redesigned and refurbished to meet its specific needs. The building — named the Junior Achievement James R. and Patricia Hemak Experiential Learning Center — will house three premier learning labs: JAUM’s existing JA BizTown and JA Finance Park programs and the first-of-its-kind JA Innovation Incubator.

Students will have access to state-of-the-art technology, including a digital business start-up platform, and the opportunity to learn from local entrepreneurs. “Junior Achievement plays a vital role in the education of Saint Paul students,” said Mayor Coleman. “By bringing relevance to learning, helping to address the opportunity gap, and preparing kids for future success, Junior Achievement’s mission reflects the City of Saint Paul’s commitment to ensuring that all children have the tools they need to be successful both in and out of school. I am honored to welcome Junior Achievement to the City of Saint Paul.” The campaign is led by a $4 million gift by retail industry entrepreneur Jim Hemak and his wife Pat, along with more than $1 million donated by the JAUM Board of Directors. The campaign has received support from businesses and city leaders in both St. Paul and Minneapolis. Students from throughout the metro area, as well as from Greater Minnesota, will benefit from the programs housed in the new facility. The urban location and proximity to light-rail and bus transportation make the new facility more convenient for students during in-school and after-school programs.

To date, more than $11 million of the total $20 million has been raised by private donations. The campaign, now in the public phase, will continue to accept gifts of any amount. Gifts can be made in support of the building or directed to the foundation. There are also limited opportunities for sponsorship of the various shops that comprise the two learning labs (JA BizTown and JA Finance Park). “As we’ve experienced continued growth in our on-site programs, we needed to find a larger home that was more convenient to schools and students. We were fortunate to find a central location that can accommodate our needs and future growth,” said Gina Blayney, Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest President & CEO.

To learn more about the Let’s Build campaign, or to make a secure online donation, visit letsbuild.jaum.org.

BestPrep Hosts Annual Luncheon Event

Members of Minnesota Jump$tart were in attendance at the Annual BestPrep Luncheon.  The event was held on May 23 at the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis to honor top educators and volunteers. Over 540 guests attended the event, which was highlighted by a keynote address from Xcel Energy Chairman, President, and CEO Ben Fowke. He spoke on how to energize the future generation of leaders.

Minnesota Jump$tart Takes a Test Drive with Royal Credit Union


Last week, Royal Credit Union hosted a financial education program for senior students at Eden Prairie High School. The program, “Test Drive,” is a reality fair that simulates the financial experiences and decision-making many working adults face. Prior to participating, students were asked to select a career and research the education needed and expected salary for that particular job or industry. During the hands-on event, students visited various stations to choose and pay for their housing, transportation, clothing, and food, with the expectation that they live within their monthly salary, while also considering their marital status and if they have children.  Additional stations related to entertainment, pets and unexpected expenses were also included for students to visit. Jump$tart Board Member, Stephanie Musgrove, volunteered at the event, along with several other business and community volunteers.

Minnesota Jump$tart Caps Off Financial Literacy Month with Conference on Solving the Puzzle of Higher Education

Minnesota Jump$tart hosted approximately 75 members of the community at the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank on Friday to discuss rising higher education costs.  The U.S. has a long tradition of achievement through higher education.  The story of a person improving his or her financial prospects and job satisfaction through education is well-known.  Over the last few decades, however, paying for post-secondary education has become more expensive resulting in students and their families becoming more reliant on student loans.  While loans provide an avenue to achieving educational goals, many students and families are taking one eat without fully understanding the financial reality of repayment.  Highlights of the conference included:

– Opening comments from the Minneapolis Federal Reserve’s Dr. Duane Carter and the Minnesota Department of Commerce Commissioner, Mike Rothman.

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– Keynote panel discussion centered on answering the question, “What does the student loan crisis really mean?”.  The panelists included Pam Engebretson, Director of Financial Aid at Century College, Dan Nelson, Chief Institutional Data & Research Officer at Bethel University, Joyce Serido, Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota and Marcio Thompson, Outreach Coordinator at the Minnesota Office of Higher Education.


– Breakout session that included a panel discussion and audience questions on “Solutions to Paying for Higher Education”.  The panel was moderated by Michael Grover, Assistant Vice President of Community Development at the Minneapolis Federal Reserve.  Panel participants included Pam Engebretson, Century College, Quentin Kuta, Student Intern at the Minneapolis Federal Reserve and Dawn Cassidy, National Council on Family Relations.


– Breakout session hosted by Minnesota Jump$tart’s Kelsi Rahm that focused on the importance of investing early for higher education.


The afternoon concluded with hors’ devours (the Apple Brie poppers were to die for!) and a Resource Fair with representatives from several community based resources including, BestPrep, Junior Achievement, Banzai, the Federal Reserve and NextGen Personal Finance amongst others.

Thank you to all who attended the event and those who helped put on this year’s event!  We look forward to seeing everyone at the 2018 Annual Event!

Minnesota Jump$tart and Congressman Emmer Educate Rocori High School Students on the Importance of Financial Literacy


This month, MN Jump$tart Board member, Stephanie Musgrove, and her colleague at Affinity Plus, Kate Austad, taught a financial literacy session alongside Congressman Tom Emmer (MN-06) for a Current Event class at Rocori High School in Cold Spring, MN. Musgrove and Austad facilitated a discussion on banking options and how students can protect themselves from unethical banking practices; the importance of saving early and saving often; and how to make smart and informed decisions about taking on student loans.

Congressman Emmer shared some of his own personal stories to help the students better understand the importance of learning about managing their money, including some of the decisions his children made and how he and his wife tried to prepare their children for responsible money management.

Congressman Emmer is a strong supporter of financial education and he encouraged financial literacy and the importance of saving for the future with these students. “I appreciated the opportunity to work with industry experts, like the impressive individuals from Affinity Plus, to encourage Rocori High School students to look toward their future. Whether you are saving for your education, a house, retirement, or even just a vacation, planning and preparation is crucial to not only individual success, but also for the future of this nation. I applaud these efforts within our communities to educate our leaders of tomorrow about fiscal responsibility and am hopeful for the future of these bright students.”

Financial education is a collaborative effort between schools, local businesses and community organizations, and legislators, and this joint effort at Rocori High School is an example of that. To learn more about how to bring financial education to your school, contact one of the Jump$tart Board members.

Minnesota Jump$tart’s Annual Event Is Just Around the Corner! We Hope To See You There.


Jump$tart Coalition of Minnesota Annual Conference April 28, 2017 – 3:30 – 6:30 p.m.

Solving the Puzzle of Paying for Higher Education:

Successfully Financing Life after High School

The United States has a long tradition of achievement through higher education. The story of a person improving her or his financial prospects and job satisfaction through education is well-known. Over the last few decades, however, paying for post-secondary education has become more expensive and students and their families have begun to rely more heavily on student loans. While loans provide an avenue to achieving educational goals, many students and families are taking on debt without fully understanding the financial reality of repayment. Please join the Jump$tart Coalition of Minnesota to learn about the state of financing higher education. Together, we’ll explore questions like:

  •  What is the truth about our country’s student loan debt?
  •  What does higher education financing look like for people who come from a wide variety of financial situations?
  • What factors should be considered when making decisions around financing higher education?

Experts from higher education and finance, and parents themselves, will be a part of our keynote panel. Breakout sessions led by finance professionals, teachers, and college students will also take place. The afternoon will finish with an interactive resource exchange and reception for personal finance educators, advocates, and parents. We look forward to seeing you there!

2:30 p.m. – Optional Tour – Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis (limited spaces available)

3:30 p.m. – Welcome

3:40 p.m. – Keynote Event: Video and Panel Discussion

4:30 p.m. – Breakout Sessions

  • Session One – What does the student loan crisis really mean?
  • Session Two – Importance of investing early.

5:30 p.m. – Refreshments and interactive resource exchange (Like speed dating with financial education as the theme!)

Registration is available now at: www.2017mnjumpstart.eventbrite.com

Follow us! @MNJumpstart (Twitter & Facebook)

Back to……High School?!?!?

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Today, MN Jump$tart participated in a session of Junior Achievement’s Personal Finance in a Day at Patrick Henry High School in Minneapolis.  We were welcomed into Mr. Yarbrough’s home room class that was filled with 17 energetic young men in the school’s Junior class.  Topics discussed included:

Work Experience – Student’s work history included a barbershop, Wendy’s and a Sports Media Assistant;

Importance of Education – All students said they plan to finish high school and about 2/3 of the class plan on pursuing some form of higher education;

Budgeting – The majority of class participants had experiencing managing money, whether it be in the form of a paycheck or allowance.  One student even shared a great story of being given $100 and a grocery list and the challenges he faced at the store.

Savings / Paying Yourself First – Students shared several stories about saving money for shoes, clothes, iPhone, etc.  Some students are even saving money just to have some…..we’ll call that an emergency fund!

The session was capped off with a game where small groups of students worked together to make budget decisions that individuals and families often have to make.  Congratulations to Team “Pac” on their victory and for not making decisions such as not to pay for rent, taxes, food / groceries and car insurance that doomed their competition!