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News Release

New Jersey Department of
Banking and Insurance

Acting Commissioner Richard J. Badolato

For Immediate Release:
March 31, 2016

For Further Information:
Ed Rogan or Marshall McKnight (609) 292-5064

Acting Commissioner Badolato Visits Junior Achievement Finance Park and Reminds Students of the Importance of Financial Literacy

EDISON — Department of Banking and Insurance Acting Commissioner Richard J. Badolato and Banking Director Patrick Mullen last week visited the Junior Achievement Finance Park congratulating students on completing financial literacy courses and reminding them of the importance of making informed financial decisions.

“Take the lessons you learn from your financial literacy courses in your schools and here in Finance Park and use them for the rest of your lives,” said Acting Commissioner Badolato. “Every lesson you learn about money and finance is an important life lesson.  Be smart about your money. The financial decisions you make when you are young can have an impact that lasts throughout your entire lives.”

Finance Park is the culmination of a four week financial literacy program taught at high schools across the State. On the final day of the course, students visit the Junior Achievement Finance Park where volunteers assist them in making simulated financial decisions.

At left, Stephanie Karpowicz, Director of Junior Achievement Finance Park, talks about financial literacy with Acting Commissioner Richard Badolato.



Students take on fictional jobs with income and debit cards and then set financial plans that allow them to budget based on their annual income. They visit various kiosks in the park that represent typical daily living expenses such as electric bills, housing costs, transportation costs, health care, and home improvement.

“It’s a very impressive program,” said Banking Director Mullen. “It gives students a good idea of what it feels like to manage their own money and make sure their expenses match up with their incomes.” 

Junior Achievement of New Jersey, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating young people about business, economics and free enterprise, partners with the Department on many Financial Literacy programs. Through a dedicated volunteer network, JA offers in-school and after-school programs for students in grades K-12 including Financial Program which it conducts with DOBI and the business community.  JA Finance Park, which made its debut in Newark in February 2009, and reached more than 57,000 students in the 2014-15 school year.

"It was such an honor to have the Department of Banking and Insurance's Acting Commissioner Richard Badolato visit JA Finance Park. We really enjoyed listening to and watching him connect with the students,” said Catherine Milone, President, Junior Achievement of NJ. “We look forward to having the Commissioner join us again soon."

Acting Commissioner Badolato and Director Mullen visited the program on March 24 as part of the Department’s ongoing Financial Literacy program. For the last 10 years, the Department has conducted financial literacy programs for high school students and spoken to thousands of students in school across the State about topics including basic personal finance, the importance of credit and how to manage credit cards.  The Department expanded the program to include programs for senior citizens in 2012, and for college students in 2013.

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