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Junior Achievement Discovery Center Opens in Hillsboro, Boosting Financial Literacy for Students (Photo) - 12/05/23

Junior Achievement of Oregon & SW Washington’s Discovery Center engages students with real-life lessons on work readiness and financial literacy

Portland, Ore., Dec. 5, 2023— A hands-on financial learning center that inspires young people to take control of their financial futures welcomed its first students from Hillsboro High School and Hope Chinese Charter School on Dec. 5. The new Junior Achievement of Oregon & SW Washington (JA) Discovery Center engages 4th-12th graders with fun, realistic lessons on vital life skills such as choosing careers, budgeting, saving and investing and becoming a responsible part of a connected community.

Ahead of the session, students participated in JA Finance Park, a financial literacy program for middle and high school students. It develops essential personal finance skills and combines classroom learning and real-world simulations to help students understand how responsible choices can position them to deal with life’s twists and turns. On Dec. 5, OnPoint Community Credit Union employee volunteers helped guide students through interactive simulations on financial decisions related to income, expenses, savings and credit.

Located in the Hillsboro Civic Center, the new site is the 44th of its kind in the U.S., delivering youth financial literacy programs to more than 12,000 students in Clatsop, Columbia, Tillamook and Washington Counties. 

“The skills they learn here are skills they will use every day for the rest of their lives. It’s inspiring to see them take control of their futures,” said Priscilla Treviño, Director of Development for Junior Achievement of Oregon & SW Washington. “We are just as excited about it as they are. These kids are the future of our community, and we are focused on empowering and inspiring them to see a future of boundless potential through our programs.”

The center will also host JA BizTown, an upper-elementary program that combines in-class learning with a hands-on simulation of an American city. Students take on roles such as grocer, electrician, pharmacist or banker while practicing basic business and civic skills. The replica city features storefronts sponsored by local businesses, including OnPoint. 

 “Learning these lessons now will help students gain the skills they need to make responsible financial decisions and plan for their futures,” said Vincent Pollard, financial wellness manager of OnPoint Community Credit Union, which donated $200,000 to help build the new center and will operate its onsite branch during the JA BizTown simulation days. “As a community credit union, we exist to help our community build those skills. Our employee volunteers honored that commitment today and we’re proud to continue supporting JA’s new center and providing hands-on financial education to students across Oregon and Southwest Washington.”

OnPoint and JA have partnered since 2019 to expand equitable access to financial education for K-12 students across Oregon and Southwest Washington. In addition to investing in the Discovery Center, OnPoint has supported JA with $193,000 in donations to help students engage with JA’s programs.

ABOUT JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT OF OREGON & SW WASHINGTON

Junior Achievement inspires and prepares young people to succeed in a global economy through hands-on programs that promote work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy. Established locally in 1950, Junior Achievement of Oregon and SW Washington (JA) is an affiliate of Junior Achievement USA, which has worked for over a century to provide economic and financial education for K-12 students. This school year, with the help of more than 4,000 volunteers, JA will serve over 35,000 students in Oregon and SW Washington. 

ABOUT ONPOINT COMMUNITY CREDIT UNION

OnPoint Community Credit Union is the largest credit union in Oregon, serving over 539,000 members and with assets of $8.8 billion. Founded in 1932, OnPoint Community Credit Union’s membership is available to anyone who lives or works in one of 28 Oregon counties (Benton, Clackamas, Clatsop, Columbia, Coos, Crook, Curry, Deschutes, Douglas, Gilliam, Hood River, Jackson, Jefferson, Josephine, Klamath, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Marion, Morrow, Multnomah, Polk, Sherman, Tillamook, Wasco, Washington, Wheeler and Yamhill) and two Washington counties (Skamania and Clark) and their immediate family members. More information is available at www.onpointcu.com or 503-228-7077 or 800-527-3932.

 

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