Jump to main content

Baker Boyer Launches Digital Financial Education Program that Prepares High School Students for Long-Term Financial Success

04/06/2022

A new education program provided by Baker Boyer and its partners introduces financial literacy to Eastern Washington high school classrooms. 

Finance Academy by Baker Boyer teaches students critical concepts around budgeting, credit cards, student loans, retirement plans, taxes, stocks, mortgages, and more. The initiative helps build essential life skills for young people on the brink of adulthood and could lead those who complete the program to one of three $1,000 scholarships. 

Coordinated by REDEF, a Baker Boyer committee who is helping redefine how the bank is evolving for the future, the program is the result of a partnership with EVERFI, an international technology company that delivers the digital lessons. Schools are invited to participate at no cost, providing teachers training, tools and support and students a pathway to financial comprehension. 

“Baker Boyer is committed to empowering the youth in our community with the financial knowledge they need to build a strong future, which is why we partnered with EVERFI to create Finance Academy by Baker Boyer,” Chris Christianson, member of REDEF and Credit Administration Specialist, said. 

Nearly a dozen schools in three counties — Walla Walla, Franklin and Yakima — currently use the program, introduced in the middle of the 2020-21 school year. The curriculum has reached 312 students through its immersive lessons, which challenge students through problem-solving, self-reflection and games. 

Assessment scores for students increased 42% after completing the program. Furthermore, 71% of participants said they felt ready to create a budget and manage their spending and saving after the coursework. That reflects a 45% increase from the sentiment before they completed the program. 

Walla Walla High School teacher Kyle Eggers was among the first educators to incorporate the Finance Academy by Baker Boyer into his instruction for AVID, a program that prepares students for college and life.  

“The great part about this unit was that students were relatively new to the topic,” Eggers said. “Of course, they had heard of financial vocabulary before, but many of them did not have the context in which each would be used. The EVERFI program guided them through lessons in a fun, interactive way — filling in a 1040EZ tax form based on a W2, etc.” Learning extended as students explored group projects, investment opportunities, and plans for future expenses beyond high school, he said. 

In conjunction with the program, Baker Boyer will award $1,000 scholarships annually to high school seniors who have completed the program or are enrolled toward completion by June 1. Applications are due May 1 and can be accessed here.

Teachers interested in using Finance Academy by Baker Boyer may contact Chris Christianson at christianc@bakerboyer.com to learn more.