The High Returns Program


200+ Middle school students served

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 local, underserved elementary schools. The workshops are exciting, interactive, and hands-on, while simultaneously teaching students about important financial topics such as saving, spending, forms of payment, the economy, and taxes. 

Why does it matter?

Studies have shown that in-school teaching of financial literacy from a young age has a significant impact on a student’s 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.

2112 Entrepreneurship Workshop Program


10 workshops led. 5 Businesses accelerated.

Located within the 160,000 square feet B2B creative industry ecosystem of Fort Knox Studios, 2112 is Chicago’s first incubator focused on the development of entrepreneurs and disruption in music, film/video and creative technology.

JEC has partnered with 2112 to launch various workshops led by prominent Chicago entrepreneurs in brainstorming, marketing, leadership, and app/website development.

In addition to learning how to start your own business, 2112 grants JEC members full access to all services and networks at 2112 as a member, including mentorship from Chicago’s brightest digital designers, engineers and entrepreneurs.

Chicago Youth Council for Economic Development


20+ members working directly with the city government

What is the Chicago Youth Council for Economic Development? 

The JEC has worked 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 can share their perspectives on a variety of topics and work to create solutions for issues that are important to students and the city.


If you are a Chicago area elementary school teacher or faculty member interested in having the High Returns program at your school, please Contact Us below expressing your interest.