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

Sarah Gracey is a teacher at Kiski Area High School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Their school is the 141st recipient of the Gold Standard Challenge scholarship. Here is Sarah describing the journey from Kiski Area 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?

We started planting the seed in our director’s mind last spring and named it again at the beginning of the year. He was fully on board from the start because he understands the importance of personal finance and the need for students to have the opportunity to learn about it.

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

There were a few challenges. We already have a compulsory course in our department and we would have found it difficult to convince the district to allow us two compulsory courses. So we decided that personal finances were more important to all of our students than the computer course we currently need.

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

Ann Valeski, another teacher in my department, and I were the catalysts for the change and once we spoke to our principal he kept the momentum going all the way to the finish.

Which stakeholders (students, parents, admin, business leaders, school board, etc.) were helpful partners in your quest to fulfill the graduation requirement?

Our director was our biggest advocate. He presented the information to the Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent, who then discussed it with the board. Our school board had no problems with the plan and one of them was very excited to hear that we were making the switch.

This post Mission 2030 Guest Post: Sarah Gracey planted the personal finance seed at their school

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