News Release: State-of-the-Art Financial Literacy Center to Open in Prince George's County, Maryland

News Release: State-of-the-Art Financial Literacy Center to Open in Prince George's County, Maryland

February 21, 2013
For Immediate Release
Office of Communications
Office of Communications
Julie Rosenthal for Junior Achievement


More Than 9,000 Students Will Make Real Life Financial Decisions in Mock City Each Year

– February 19, 2013 – Today, Junior Achievement of Greater Washington, Prince George’s County Public Schools and Capital One announced plans for the development of the Washington DC region’s second Junior Achievement Finance Park center. This new 14,000-square-foot financial literacy center will be located on the campus of Gholson Middle School in Landover, Maryland, and will bring in-depth, hands-on financial literacy education to more than 9,000 local middle school students in Greater Washington each year. Capital One provided the $2.5 million in funding for the new center.  


“Ensuring that children have access to quality education that incorporates financial literacy and money-management skills, is important to their future economic success,” said Edward J. Grenier III, President and CEO, Junior Achievement of Greater Washington. “We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Capital One to bring a second facility to Greater Washington.  Finance Park has a proven track record of helping students to develop wise financial decision-making skills in a manner that is substantive, fun and can serve as a model for effective financial literacy training nationwide.”

Ground-breaking is expected this fall, and Junior Achievement Finance Park is scheduled to open for the 2014/2015 school year. At that time, every 8th grade student in the Prince George’s County Public School system as well as other students from the Greater Washington region will visit Finance Park each year. Prior to their visit, students will participate in 24 classroom hours of Junior Achievement’s unique Finance Park classroom curriculum which spans a six-week period. Students then will have the opportunity to put their newly learned money management skills to the test in the innovative learning environment of Finance Park – a mock city where students experience the challenges of making real life financial decisions.

When entering Junior Achievement Finance Park, students are assigned fictional jobs, incomes, families and expenses. They then make real life financial management decisions concerning housing, transportation, savings, food, entertainment and more choices they will ultimately face as they enter adulthood. Volunteers from local businesses, including Capital One, mentor the students during their journeys, helping them develop and stick to budgets based on their assigned fictional life situation.

“During these uncertain economic times, it is reassuring to have the support of a public-private partnership such as this one that enables us to better prepare our students for the world that awaits them," says Dr. Alvin L. Crawley, Interim Superintendent of Prince George’s County Public Schools. "With the support of Junior Achievement of Greater Washington, Capital One, and additional local community support, we are doing our part to strengthen the long-term economic position of Prince George’s County students, their families and the communities in which they dwell."

The first Junior Achievement Finance Park opened in Fairfax County, Virginia, in October, 2010. To date, close to 28,000 students have experienced Finance Park through 45 school visits from six school systems throughout the region and 661,920 curriculum hours have been delivered. In 2011 and 2012, 485 Prince George’s students participated in Finance Park, and 500 more are expected in 2013. There are 19 Junior Achievement Parks nationwide.

“At Capital One, we recognize that money management skills are critical building blocks for economic success and we are proud to continue our investment in Junior Achievement Finance Park, which has a track record of being both effective and fun for students,” said Carolyn Berkowitz, Managing Vice President, Community Affairs, Capital One.  “We know that this investment in Junior Achievement Finance Park is ultimately an investment in the students of Prince George’s County and the future of our hometown region.”

For more information about Junior Achievement Finance Park, please visit

About Junior Achievement of Greater Washington

Junior Achievement (JA) is the world's largest organization dedicated to educating youth about financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship through experiential, hands-on programs. Today, JA reaches 4.2 million students per year in more than 120 markets across the United States, with an additional 6.5 million students served by operations in 117 other countries worldwide. Since 1919, JA has been the recognized leader in developing and delivering age-appropriate curriculum to help youth develop life skills and gain an understanding of business and economics. Our programs reinforce and directly correlate with state standards, providing a fresh perspective to classroom learning that generates excitement, facilitates learning, and engages all types of students. Junior Achievement of Greater Washington will reach approximately 52,000 students in academic year 2012-2013 through in-classroom and after-school programs.

About Prince George’s County Public SchoolsPrince George's County Public Schools (PGCPS), one of the nation's 25 largest school districts, has 204 schools, approximately 125,000 students and nearly 18,000 employees. With an annual budget of $1.6 billion, the district serves a diverse student population from urban, suburban and rural communities. PGCPS is nationally recognized for its innovative programs and initiatives, including the expansion of Advanced Placement courses and partnerships with businesses and institutions of higher learning.


About Capital OneCapital One Financial Corporation, headquartered in McLean, Virginia, is a Fortune 500 company with approximately 1,000 branch locations primarily in Maryland, Virginia, the District of Columbia, New York, New Jersey, Texas and Louisiana. Its subsidiaries, Capital One, N.A., Capital One Bank (USA), N. A., and ING Bank, fsb, offer a broad spectrum of financial products and services to consumers, small businesses and commercial clients. We apply the same principles of innovation, collaboration and empowerment in our commitment to our communities across the country that we do in our business. We recognize that helping to build strong and healthy communities – good places to work, good places to do business and good places to raise families – benefits us all and we are proud to support this and other community initiatives.


Since 2004, Capital One has donated more than $19 million to help more students across the country have access to Junior Achievement’s Finance Park curriculum, and more than 10,000 Capital One volunteers have volunteered at Finance Park centers across the country.  Last year, JA USA and Capital One launched an online version of the program, called JA Finance Park Virtual, to further extend the reach of the program to underserved communities and bring the experience into homes around the country.



Prince George's County Public Schools (PGCPS), one of the nation's 25 largest school districts, has 208 schools and centers, more than 130,000 students and nearly 19,000 employees. Under the leadership of Chief Executive Officer Dr. Kevin M. Maxwell, the school system serves a diverse student population from urban, suburban and rural communities located in the Washington, DC suburbs. PGCPS is nationally recognized for innovative programs and initiatives that provide students with unique learning opportunities, including arts integration, environmental and financial literacy, and language immersion.