The next post is one in a series of inspiring stories from NGPF’s Gold Standard Challenge Grant Program, which encourages high schools and districts to commit to taking ALL students in personal finance before graduation. Learn more here and apply for your $2,500 to $30,000 Gold Standard Challenge Grant before the August 31, 2022 deadline.

About today’s guest author

Janelle Blakney is a teacher at Wenatchee High School in Wenatchee, Washington. Their school is the 167th recipient of the Gold Standard Challenge scholarship. Here is Janelle describing Wenatchee’s journey to the gold standard.

Describe a rough timeline for how you and/or your colleagues have been able to advocate for personal finance to become a graduating requirement in your school/district. How long did it take? What were the key progress milestones?

It has been a two year process to get this through our school board. I am a high school math teacher and also on the YACET board. I have worked with NGPF and YACET with my school to get financial literacy in my class here in high school. Through outreach to our high school teachers, I started working with our CTE director who was fully onboard and he took over from there. He gave a presentation to the school board, they had a lot of questions for us to answer, we worked on getting the answers, and then we could be put back on the school board’s agenda. The presentation went well and at the next two meetings they approved the plan.

What challenges have you encountered in your pursuit of making personal finance a graduate requirement, and what solutions have you found to these challenges?

It was a challenge to collect all the information the school board wanted at first, but with COVID it was also difficult to make this a priority. It was always pushed back or taken off the agenda. In the end we went ahead and it worked.

What/who were the “catalysts for change” that made your efforts successful?

The catalysts for change that allowed our efforts to be successful included a few people: Jacob Bucholz, Eric Anderson, Janelle Blakney, Kory Kalahar, Paul Gordon, and Martin Barron.

This post Mission 2030 guest post: Janelle Blakne’s two-year trial paid off as board approved financial literacy in the classroom

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