Imagine a 12-year-old boy learning how to manage money and to envision his future from a 19-year-old college student who shares a similar background. That’s one of the many benefits of JA College Connect, a unique and expanding JA initiative that engages college students as JA volunteers.
College Connect just makes sense and Denver-area financial management company TIAA (formerly TIAA-CREF) couldn’t agree more. Serving as the program’s first corporate sponsor, TIAA recognizes the value of engaging college students in service learning opportunities that help inspire a new generation of financially literate and work-ready young people.
“We are investing in JA College Connect because we believe in both the lifelong impact of quality financial education as well as the importance of engaging our college students in impactful volunteerism,” said Skip Spriggs, executive vice president of human resources at TIAA. “Through our support, we hope [to] empower JA to create long-term sustainable solutions that will bring financial literacy into schools across the region.”
Locally, TIAA embodies its commitment to education, particularly financial literacy education, through a long-standing partnership with JA-Rocky Mountain. TIAA has invested a significant amount of employee expertise and energy into enabling Colorado young people to own their financial futures. Last year alone, 48 TIAA associates improved the financial well-being of 1,200 students by volunteering their time to teach students about financial literacy, entrepreneurship and work readiness at Bruce Randolph High School in Denver and at JA Finance Park. And with TIAA’s recent commitment to JA College Connect, the organization and its professionals will impact even more young people across Colorado in coming years.
In 2015, JA College Connect partnered with service learning programs and student groups at the University of Denver, CU-Denver, CU-Boulder and Johnson & Wales University to recruit 750 volunteers who helped teach and inspire more than 9,500 elementary and middle school students. With TIAA’s financial support, JA looks to increase those numbers in 2016.
“The opportunity to engage and inspire the next generation of future leaders is empowering for our student volunteers, who also gain confidence and teambuilding skills through their service in the classroom,” said Johnson & Wales University’s Denver Campus President Robin Krakowsky. The program creates a meaningful connection and shows JA students the path to a higher education and future career.”
In addition to helping fund JA College Connect, TIAA looks forward to teaming its employee volunteers with university students to teach together in JA classrooms.
“TIAA has been a valued partner to JA for more than a decade, and we are thrilled that they have expanded their support to include JA College Connect,” said Carrie Hanson, JA-Rocky Mountain’s vice president of development. “Helping college students gain confidence and skills while inspiring a future generation of students to own their financial futures is an amazing contribution. We are grateful for TIAA’s ongoing partnership, and we can’t wait to see where it continues to take us.”
With a long history of supporting education, TIAA was established in 1918 to provide guaranteed retirement income and life insurance to educators. While the company expanded to offer financial products and services to a wide-range of government and not-for-profit organizations in fields such as academia, medicine and cultural arts, TIAA remains committed to supporting education, educators and students, and continues to help JA-Rocky Mountain empower Colorado youth to own their financial futures.