Coach Sherin Clarke Heads Financial Literacy Program for DHS Students

Submitted by DOC on Tue, 04/13/2010 - 1:59pm

I asked Sherin to tell me how she got the project going and here is her explanation:

When I began the project, I was serving as the new VP of the Four Corners Chapter of the Colorado Society of CPA’s.  My goal for taking this position was to use it to give back to the community and create a program that would become a staple.  I decided that I wanted to instill a financial literacy program, and formed a small committee with CSCPA members.  We decided that we would begin by attempting to reach H.S. students, and that we would use materials from Junior Achievement to do so.  Junior Achievement was founded in 1909, and it’s mission is to inspire and educate young people to become successful in a global economy.  I chose the NEFE High School Financial Planning program to use, and then began communicating with DHS.  It finally came to fruition, as there was recently an academic standard passed that will require all graduating high school students to have some degree of financial literacy knowledge.  Junior Achievement had worked collaborative with the state to ensure there programs were aligned with the new standard.  I came to an agreement with the DHS principal, Diane Lashinsky, and Diane McCarthy in the Counseling Department to teach the entire junior class (approximately 400 students, in 20 advisory groups) the proposed program.  In years past, the juniors had very little to do during the week of CSAP testing (only freshman and sophomores take the tests, and seniors work on their portfolios during this time), so we decided to teach the program during this previously idle timeframe.  I recruited 20 volunteers from the community (CPA’s, bankers, financial advisors, insurance agents) and attempted to pair each of them with a FLC student majoring in either accounting or finance.  The idea was to bring the entire community full circle (high school students, college students, and professionals).  Unfortunately I wasn’t able to recruit 20 students mostly due to class conflicts.  The advisor of each advisory group was also involved (so 12 advisory groups had an advisor, an FLC student volunteer, and a professional volunteer, while the remaining 8 advisory groups had only a professional volunteer and an advisor).  The professional volunteers led the sessions, while the advisors and FLC student volunteers assisted.