RENO, Nevada (KOLO) – A nonprofit called the Hayek Group and volunteers including NeoMedical CEO and President Tim Duvall have raised nearly $500,000 to help young men and women in northern Nevada gain financial literacy skills .
The Hayek Group and Duvall are paying the required fees to offer the Fundamentals of Personal Finance program free to high school students at all Washoe and Pershing County high schools for the fall semester of the 2022-2023 school year.
Efforts are also underway to roll out the program in as many northern Nevada high schools as possible.
“You can’t really have personal freedom if you’re not financially free, so I think we need to teach these young people all the skills that we can,” Duvall said.
A group of students at Worcester High School will teach at least one of these courses. “What’s the purpose of insurance?” asked Morgan Bishop, a teacher of basics of personal finance, to his class. Students learn key money skills, including budgeting, saving, and steps to increase retirement income through smart investments.
“It’s a very easy course to teach, and it’s very easy to learn. It’s a well-designed course,” Mr Bishop said.
A similar course designed for adults and taught at Dave Ramsay’s “Financial Peace University” costs more than $100 per person.
As acting education chairman of the Hayek Group, Duvall was primarily responsible for raising a total of $475,000 for the program through nine events, including five golf tournaments and other fundraising events.
He has also received generous donations from organizations and individuals such as Gretchen Haas.
Duvall and Hayek Group paid $175,000 for a seven-year contract with the Washoe County School District.
The idea of raising money to help high school students in northern Nevada came to Duvall when he moved the company from California to Nevada.
When he met with the Hayek Group, he listened to Dave Ramsay on the radio.
Duvall contacted Kindra Fox, Curriculum and Instruction Manager, Washoe County School District.
“I had arranged for Ramsey to go online and they had a meeting and about 15 minutes into the meeting she stopped us and said the program was way beyond our imagination and we were going to add it to the school system as an elective,” Du said Val said.
In 2015, it covered 4,400 students in 12 schools.
Since then, it has reached 37 high schools in seven northern Nevada school districts, but COVID-19 restrictions forced the program to end at some high schools.
“It’s designed for high school. It’s accredited. It’s taught across the country, and I don’t think you can find a better program,” Duvall said.
In fact, the students Bond spoke with in Mr. Bishop’s class said they had no idea their district’s class was priced at $175,000 or that Duvall and the Hayek Group had raised the money.
“Fantastic. I’m so grateful for it all,” said personal finance fundamentals student Natalia Chacon.
“I think they should use it because it really helps a lot and it really prepares students for adult life,” says Personal Finance Foundation student Lavi Malafu.
Sarah Brown, WCSD Curriculum and Instruction Spokesperson for the Washoe County School District, oversees the implementation of all K-12 social student content, including financial literacy instruction.
After receiving donations and support from the Hayek Group for the high school’s “Fundamentals of Personal Finance” program, the school district has decided to also use the grant funds to purchase the middle school version in 2021, she said.
WCSD administrators aim to see a vertical alignment from middle school to high school, and by the 2022-2023 school year, WCSD will be required to implement a semester-long economics/personal finance course that will be required for all seniors to graduate, she said .
This change has resulted in the introduction of new economics teaching materials and the development of new scope, sequence and pace guidelines that explicitly include foundational materials.
The new curriculum will require teachers to spend at least five weeks teaching financial literacy and using foundational courses.
Brown said her team is designing some career development opportunities that will begin in May and continue through the fall.
Duvall is running for the 16th District of the Nevada Senate.
He’s competing against Don Tatro, Lisa Krasner and Monica Jay.
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