The High Returns Program

What is High Returns?

High Returns is the Junior Economic Club's primary community outreach initiative, centered around fostering financial literacy education at an early age. 

How does it work? 

With High Returns, four to five JEC members lead a series of 30 minute workshops on finance for 7th and 8th graders at various elementary schools across the city. The workshop are fun, interactive, and hands-on, while simultaneously teaching students about important financial topics such as saving and spending, forms of payment, taxes, the economy and running a business. The program is a unique opportunity for schools to offer students a comprehensive and engaging workshop on financial concepts that are extremely important to future successes, but are rarely taught at such a young age.

Why does it matter?

Studies have shown that in-school teaching of financial literacy at a young age is very influential on student financial success and competency as an adult. However, financial literacy is rarely taught in elementary schools, or even high schools across the nation. It is also proven that low-income and minority students are more likely to be less financially literate in their adulthood. These are the problems that the Junior Economic Club is trying to solve with the High Returns initiative.


Chicago Youth Council for Economic Development

What is the Chicago Youth Council for Economic Development? 

The JEC is working directly with Chicago City Treasurer Kurt Summers and his office to hold the Youth Council for Economic Development, a forum for communication between club members, city officials, and community leaders. Consisting of entirely JEC members, students on the Council will share their perspectives on a variety of topics and work to create solutions for issues that are important to students and the city.

What is the Council's potential for enacting change? 

As students would work directly with city leaders and have real money to invest, the Council would serve to strengthen youth participation in the formation, implementation, and evaluation of economic and financial public policy in city government. The Council has the potential to make change on a small scale, but send an even larger message about the efficacy and potential for student involvement in municipal affairs.

If you are a Chicago area elementary school teacher or faculty member interested in having the High Returns program at your school? Please feel free to click Contact Us above expressing your interest.  

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