Before teaching, Amy Schultze helped run her family business – a local hardware store – where she wanted to help customers build their own tool belts.
Now an economics teacher at Jamestown High School, she is energized by the chance to help the next generation of JHS students build their own “financial tool belt” and earn college credits in the process.
Schultze teaches BUS 1610 – Personal Finance at Jamestown High School, a course offered through and aligned with SUNY Jamestown Community College’s College Connections program “Equip students with the tools they need to achieve financial success.”
“Students create a ‘tool belt’ that is personalized based on their own financial goals.” said Schultze. “We discuss the importance of setting short, medium and long-term goals, and each learner’s goals will vary based on what they consider to be financially successful. The most important thing from this course: It’s not what you do, it’s what you save.”
The course also covers a variety of other aspects such as: B. the difference between saving and investing; easier versus compound interest; and the differences between grants, loans, and grants. They will also compete in Junior Achievement’s WNY Fall 2022 Stock Market Challenge in November.
Hands-on experience was also paramount to Schultze: in September, students visited Northwest Bank to learn about the importance of building relationships with your local bank; In early October, they attended a New York State-sponsored career fair and heard from partners at Jamestown Business College about the importance of completing the Free Student Aid Application (FAFSA). and recently they learned about the basics of buying and maintaining a car from representatives of Shults Auto Group and learned the importance of managing their finances from a visit to Summit Wealth Management.
Field trips to The Legend Group and Southern Chautauqua Federal Credit Union are also planned later in the semester.
“My hope for all students is that they can fill their ‘financial tool belt’ for current and future use,” said Schultze.
“For example, students today may not be ready to buy their first vehicle. But when they’re done with the class, between the research, activities and field trip to Shult’s Nissan Subaru, hopefully they’ll feel a little more comfortable with the car buying process.”
This field experience was particularly meaningful for JHS student Owen Caswell.
“One of my favorite things to learn so far has been learning about car loans,” he said. “It’s important to me because I’ll be getting my permit soon and while I’m familiar with some aspects of buying a car, I’ve learned a lot that I need to take into account during this process.
Caswell also appreciated Schultze’s insight into the classroom.
“She is a friendly teacher and created a great atmosphere in the classroom.” he said. “She enjoys learning about this stuff.”
“The whole class was very educational about what to expect as an adult.” he concluded.
“When we send our students out into the world, I just want them to be prepared.” said Schultze. “I’m referring to a quote by Suze Orman (American financier) that ‘making it in America means you can sleep at night and not worry when you get up in the morning about how you’re going to pay your bills. … Smile for the things you have, not for the things you would like.”