The KPMG Foundation recently gifted Junior Achievement USA with $1.75 million to redevelop its JA Finance Park middle school financial literacy curriculum that impacts 156,000 students in the U.S. each year.

The grant will be used to revise, design, promote and evaluate the new JA Finance Park, with a goal of integrating 21st century learning concepts and techniques, including a revision of the simulation technology that facilitates student understanding of personal budget and smart money-management practices.  

“KPMG’s gift to Junior Achievement further supports our commitment to educating the workforce of tomorrow at every stage of their academic career,” said Jose Rodriguez, chairman of the KPMG Foundation, in a statement. “Developing our young people’s financial literacy and entrepreneurial and critical thinking skills is imperative in today’s rapidly changing business environment, and key to driving a strong, diverse pipeline of future talent.”

JA Finance Park starts with a four-week personal finance curriculum for middle school students designed by their teachers, and continues at a JA Finance Park location where those money-management skills are tested. Students must create and balance a budget based on their assigned fictional life situation and under the mentorship of local business community volunteers.

“We are thrilled to receive this gift on behalf of Junior Achievement’s middle school students,” stated Jack E. Kosakowski, president and chief executive officer of Junior Achievement USA.  “It will help us integrate relevant and contemporary learning into JA Finance Park to empower young people to own their success in today's global economy.”

According to Larry Leva, KPMG’s global vice chair of quality and risk management, and Junior Achievement USA board chair, “KPMG and the KPMG Foundation are proud to support Junior Achievement, and prouder still of the commitment our people have demonstrated to the organization and its mission. More than 45 of our partners and employees continue to give their time to serve on local JA boards, and nearly 1,700 served as JA classroom volunteers last year.”