INSPIRED IMPACT is an ongoing blog series that gives voice to social entrepreneurs and leaders of mission-driven organizations who are making an impact in their communities and industries.

 



 

Debbie PierceDebbie Pierce is the President and CEO of Economic Literacy Colorado. Follow them on Facebook and Linkedin and learn more at EconLitCo.org.

 

WHAT DO YOU DO?
Economic Literacy Colorado offers university-accredited “Professional Development” for K-12 Colorado teachers. Focused on economics and personal finance, our one-day classes, five-day programs, and in-service presentations provide teachers with knowledge, methods and lessons they can immediately integrate into their classroom teaching.

“Teaching Personal Financial Literacy in Elementary Grades” is our six-week online course to help teachers become more familiar and confident teaching PFL. Teachers taking this standards-based course can expect to receive professional development through: 1) content from a professor trained in PFL; 2) pedagogy and methods from elementary teachers experienced in PFL; and 3) grade-level resources that are classroom ready.

The “Stock Market Experience” is our robust real-time investment simulation program that teaches 3rd-12th grade students about personal financial literacy and economics through investing a virtual $100,000 in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, equities, and options on worldwide markets.

 

WHY DO YOU DO IT?
Our mission is to prepare students with the economic and personal finance skills to effectively participate as responsible and productive members of our free enterprise system. We believe all Colorado students deserve to learn the fundamental economic and financial decision-making skills necessary to be successful throughout life.

 

WHAT IMPACT ARE YOU MAKING?
Every year, 1,500+ K-12 Colorado teachers participate in our classes and programs. Every year, more than 100,000 students are educated by those teachers. Throughout their career, each teacher could reach thousands of students with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in their personal, professional and civic lives.

That’s the power of the Multiplier Effect.

 

WHAT (OR WHO) INSPIRES YOU TO MAKE THIS IMPACT?
Our ever-changing world of business, finance, economics and everyday life requires, at the very minimum, a basic knowledge of fundamental economics and personal finance. Ironically, we spend 12+ years educating students so they have the knowledge and skills to earn a living. But we do very little to teach them what to do with those earnings. Personal finance and basic economics are part of our lives – every single day. Yet we have not made it a priority in our schools to prepare our students with the skills to make informed decisions in their personal, professional and civic lives. Is there any wonder why so many struggle to succeed? To make ends meet? To know what choices they have?

 

WHAT’S YOUR BIG DREAM FOR THE ORGANIZATION AND THE IMPACT YOU WANT TO MAKE?
Our dream is to see that every student in Colorado – and across our nation – has been taught the fundamentals of personal finance and economics, such that they can mature into successful, well-prepared, contributing members of our free enterprise system.

 

WHAT RESOURCES DO YOU NEED TO MAKE THOSE DREAMS COME TRUE?
Our greatest need is financial support from individuals, corporations and foundations who want to help us impact personal lives, which in turn will impact families, communities and, ultimately, the state. As a small nonprofit, we are unable to grow our programs, outreach, and staff without continued and further support.

 

WHAT IS (OR HAS BEEN) YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE?
Helping individuals understand what “economics” really means and what role it plays in our life. At the most fundamental level, economics is the study of choice. We make hundreds of choices every single day; choices that involve costs, benefits, incentives, consequences, and more. Why not teach students to make the BEST choice?

 

WHAT WORDS OF ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHER LEADERS LOOKING TO MAKE AN IMPACT?
Whether you lead a for-profit or a non-profit, believe wholeheartedly in your mission, so your words exude passion and your work becomes a joy. As George Bernard Shaw said, “I am of the opinion that my life belongs to whole community and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can.”

 

HOW CAN OTHERS SUPPORT YOU OR YOUR CAUSE?
Visit our website to learn more: www.EconLitCo.org. Call us to get involved – volunteer, serve on a committee, serve on the Board, introduce us to someone who can help, advocate for economic or personal finance education in your school or district. Make a donation to ensure we educate more teachers and students.

 


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