Growing financial literacy: How BMO and Junior Achievement are empowering students across the U.S.
Financial literacy is key to developing a healthy relationship with money and understanding personal finance management, budgeting and investing. As part of BMO’s commitment to building a more inclusive and thriving economy, we are working to advance financial literacy in underserved communities across our U.S. footprint. Our partnership with Junior Achievement (JA), an organization that helps young people reach their full financial potential by providing lessons in career readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy, is critical to fulfilling this commitment.
In 2022, BMO joined with over 70 community partners, including JA, to hold 226 financial literacy events, benefitting over 6,100 people in the U.S. In Wisconsin, BMO volunteers provided over 120 hours of financial education with JA of WI, benefitting 355 students. This year, BMO will help fund JA’s general operations costs, event sponsorships and JA Technical Scholars Camp. BMO’s donation of $115,000 in support of the Junior Achievement Boundless Possibilities Project will provide JA programming in financial literacy and career readiness to 130,000 students across Wisconsin in the 2023-24 school year.
During the 2022-23 school year, BMO committed $150,000 to the organization’s Chicago chapter. BMO was also a lead sponsor of the Chicago Business Hall of Fame event and volunteered at several JA events around the city including JA in a Day, where BMO volunteers taught financial literacy in classrooms around Chicago. BMO also participated in JA’s annual Bowl A Thon, where $39,000 was raised for the organization. In total during 2022, BMO volunteers provided over 47 hours of financial education, benefiting 243 students in the Chicago area.
Our newest colleagues at Bank of the West have also contributed to JA’s work giving $200,000 to JA nationwide and donating 200 hours of financial education instruction reaching over 700 students in Southern California. Last month, BMO continued to expand community support in California, partnering with JA of Southern California to bring together local students, businesses and schools for JA Inspire, its annual career fair.
In Arizona, BMO and Bank of the West worked together to give over 815 hours of financial education reaching nearly 3,000 students. Additionally, BMO employees assisted with the JA’s Bottles for BizTown and Stock Market Challenge events, financial education simulations, helping middle and high schoolers learn about money choices in a safe and fictional environment.
BMO’s long-standing support of JA has not gone unnoticed, as BMO recently won the 2023 President’s Volunteer Award for volunteering for JA’s various programs for career readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy.