January 09, 2019

Claim Your Future® – Engaging Students in Financial Education

Students Claim Their Futures While They Learn about Education, Careers and Money Management

Educators from Maine, Massachusetts and Illinois are giving their students’ future success a boost with Claim Your Future (CYF) – a financial literacy program that helps increase knowledge about higher education, careers, and money management. Teachers and students all around the country have been raving about the interactive educational program and over 120,000 have played online or in the class room. “Claim Your Future is an engaging and informative way for middle school students to start thinking about career planning and money management at a young age,” said Jean Eddy, President and CEO of Massachusetts-based American Student Assistance (ASA). “This unique program is one of many ways ASA is working with students to help them make informed choices to achieve their education and career goals. It’s fun, effective, and most importantly, kids love it!” ASA, the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC), and the program developer, the Finance Authority of Maine (FAME), have invested in Claim Your Future (CYF) to help increase financial capability and knowledge of future career opportunities among students in their states. In addition, YMCAs, Boys and Girls Clubs, scouts, and others have embraced CYF as it enhances their existing programs. Educators and other educational organizations from these states can request free program kits or play their online version. “We use Claim Your Future with the middle and high school students in our Illinois GEAR UP program to help them better understand college, careers, and life after high school,” said Jacqueline Moreno, managing director of college access initiatives at ISAC. “It’s interactive and our students find it highly engaging.” The Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) developed the program to use in Maine’s financial education efforts and has helped tens of thousands of Maine students from grades five and up become more financially savvy. The online version has been played all over the world and is very popular in many states. Due to overwhelming requests, FAME has adapted the program so other organizations can co-brand and customize the program for their own constituents. FAME offers standard or customized program kits or online sites for other state entities, non-profit organizations, financial institutions, and youth programs looking to promote financial literacy, as well as raise awareness of their own brand and their program offerings. “We can customize careers, expenses, and even add an organization’s logo to either the physical game kits or websites,” says Mary Dyer, FAME’s Financial Education Officer. Revenue generated from the sales of this program is used to provide financial education to Maine families. The program is proven to expand knowledge and engage students from fifth grade through high school and even into adulthood. Teachers have used the program as a one-time classroom activity or as part of a larger unit on careers, higher education, and money management. “Claim Your Future was so easy to use. I just opened the box and in minutes was engaging students. It was amazing how much they learned in under 40 minutes. They had so many ah-ha! moments,” said teacher Kathy Boucher of St. Michael School in Augusta, Maine. “Students gain greater understanding than they would just from a book or lecture. They share with one another as they learn about higher education, career opportunities, and spending choices,” said St. Michael School Principal Kevin Cullen. To watch students engage in, learn more, and/or try the lesson yourself go to: ClaimYourFuture.com