ATLANTA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Trying to decide what car to buy, where to live, or how to juggle credit card bills on a limited salary are no longer challenges just for adults. Students soon will learn the importance of balancing personal finances through the newest Junior Achievement Discovery Center at Gwinnett.
Through its philanthropic organization, the Assurant Foundation, Assurant, Inc. is the lead sponsor of JA Finance Park® at the JA Discovery Center. With the official grand opening tomorrow, each year the center is expected to help more than 25,000 Gwinnett County middle school students learn how to make financial decisions and understand how those choices can influence their future success.
“By partnering with Junior Achievement, Assurant helps students gain valuable skills so they can become financially responsible adults,” said Assurant President and CEO Alan B. Colberg. “Providing learning experiences to help prepare financially for the unexpected is critical in supporting their lifetime education. We want learning to be fun while emphasizing the basics of personal finance. Students often think it’s exciting to buy an expensive car until they realize they still have to pay rent and buy groceries.”
After completing classroom lessons, middle students put their financial knowledge into practice through a real-life simulation at JA Finance Park presented by Assurant. Through Assurant’s “insurance store” in the center, kids learn about risk management and budgeting skills.
Students are given adult profiles with a career, a salary, family obligations, homes and budgets to manage. They make purchasing and investment decisions, use banking services, buy insurance and juggle competing priorities while taking ownership for their personal financial success.
“Helping a teenager understand the importance of a budget is challenging at first, but as they go through the process, they begin to understand the financial trade-offs that come with their decisions,” said Assurant Specialty Property president and CEO Gene Mergelmeyer, who will speak at Thursday’s grand opening. “Junior Achievement’s initiatives align closely with Assurant’s values, and our employees are excited to volunteer and help students in Gwinnett as they’ve done downtown.”
The Assurant Foundation and employees support several Junior Achievement chapters where employees live and work across the U.S., including metro Atlanta. This is the second major JA Discovery Center sponsorship for Assurant with JA of Georgia. In 2013, the company was a founding sponsor at the JA Discovery Center in downtown Atlanta.
“Now more than ever, for students to be successful they must remain engaged in school, equipped with the skills for the professional world and prepared to navigate the financial complexities of today’s economy,” said Jack Harris, president and CEO of Junior Achievement of Georgia. “Thanks to support from the local corporate and civic communities, JA and Gwinnett County Public Schools are primed to provide the curriculum, tools and experiential facility to prepare more students to excel at the business of life.”
The grand opening of the JA Discovery Center at Gwinnett will take place from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Thursday at 1333 Old Norcross Road, Lawrenceville, GA 30046.
A global provider of specialty protection products and related services, Assurant (NYSE:AIZ) safeguards clients and consumers against risk. A Fortune 500 company, Assurant partners with clients who are leaders in their industries to provide consumers peace of mind and financial security. Our diverse range of products and services includes: mobile device protection products and services; debt protection administration; credit-related insurance; warranties and extended service products and related services for consumer electronics, appliances and vehicles; pre-funded funeral insurance; lender-placed homeowners insurance; property preservation and valuation services; flood insurance; renters insurance and related products; manufactured housing homeowners insurance; group dental insurance; group disability insurance; and group life insurance.
With approximately $30 billion in assets and $8 billion in annual revenue, Assurant operates through three business segments: Assurant Solutions, Assurant Specialty Property and Assurant Employee Benefits. Through the Assurant Foundation, established more than 30 years ago, the company and its employees are dedicated to supporting and partnering with organizations that improve communities. www.assurant.com and follow us on Twitter @AssurantNews.
About Junior Achievement of Georgia
Junior Achievement of Georgia is dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their future, and make educated academic and economic choices. JA programs are delivered by corporate and community volunteers, and provide relevant, hands-on experiences to students from kindergarten through high school. JA of Georgia offers multiple programs, including in-class programs, JA BizTown, JA Finance Park and JA Fellows, all of which focus on entrepreneurship, personal financial literacy and workforce readiness. During the 2013/2014 school year, JA of Georgia served 168,000 students statewide through five district offices located in Atlanta, Columbus, Dalton, Gainesville and Savannah. For more information, visit www.georgia.ja.org.