The Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation and the Rookie Community Club teamed up for a fun and educational afternoon Friday with the Finance Park Demonstration.
It’s not often that middle school students have the opportunity to teach NFL players a thing or two about financial management, but that’s exactly what happened at Junior Achievement Finance Park on Friday.
The Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation and Rookie Community Club took part in a finance demonstration with help from a group of Thomas Pullen Creative and Performing Arts Academy 8th grade students. The students participating had previously completed the Junior Achievement Finance Park course and were now considered teachers for the day.
“Yeah, it’s always a cool experience to come and get a chance to give back to the community a little bit, go through a cool experience like a budgeting situation like this was,” rookie center Chase Roullier said. “They’re [the students] actually teaching us something and they’re actually learning by teaching us as well. It’s definitely a cool experience.”
Players were assigned a career, salary and life situation from which they had to create a budget. Plenty of laughs were had as players went back and forth with students on what they wanted to spend money on versus what they were allotted. A debriefing session following the exercise led to plenty of players expressing that they had learned lessons that they will use in their own lives.
“Just the importance of making sure you think of everything in your budget,” Roullier said. “There are a lot of things that come up that you don’t really think of. You know you need rent, and you need a car but there is so many other little things that come up that you need to budget for and that’s exactly what we had the opportunity to do in there.”
Junior Achievement Finance Park, located just minutes from FedExField, serves approximately 11,000 8th grade students in Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS). The interactive building is used to teach students – and Redskins rookies alike – about the intricacies of financial management, and how to create their own budget. Not only do the students have the chance to interact with members of the Redskins, but teaching can be as helpful as learning.
“So when the students went through this program they were really becoming an adult for the day,” said Chelsea Soneira, the vice president of education for Junior Achievement. “I mean that’s the whole purpose of Junior Achievement Finance Park is to put them in a risk free environment where they can practice making adult decisions and [have] the students come back and lead that process with the rookies. We get the rookies to experience that and then we give the students leadership opportunity by having them express themselves, express what they learned, make connections that they might not [have] been able to make and then actually be able to give advice. That’s a big marker of learning is being able to actually take what you learned and give advice to another person so I think that makes for a very special opportunity.”