Young AmeriTowne On the Road is a portable, interactive environment that replicates the current awe-inspiring experience. Catering to classes of 25-55 students, the new setup is ideal for connecting with smaller schools and those in rural settings that have found it challenging to reach Young Americans’ current physical locations. Combined with the new AmeriTowne Cloud, a cloud-based operating system for financial transactions and community interaction, Young AmeriTowne On the Road can be set up anywhere with a wireless hotspot to serve dozens of new communities and thousands of students each year. CoBank’s $100,000 donation supports the new built environment and develops the infrastructure of the On the Road experience.
“The addition of Young AmeriTowne On the Road will extend Young Americans’ reach across the state and prepare students for the modern world of free enterprise,”
Young AmeriTowne teaches free enterprise, civics, personal finance, and job readiness to 23,000 students annually. The 25-year-old program is delivered through a 30-hour curriculum taught in the classroom, which is followed by a one-day visit to Young AmeriTowne, where students hold a job and act as consumers and producers in a mini-economy. During the 2014-2015 school year, the new initiative, Young AmeriTowne On the Road, will travel to Pueblo, Durango, Grand Junction, and will also serve smaller schools in Metro Denver.
“CoBank is pleased to partner with Young Americans to help expand the reach of this vital educational program,” said David P. Burlage, CoBank’s chief financial officer and a member of the Young Americans board. “The implementation of Young AmeriTowne On the Road will allow Young Americans to share this unique experience with the majority of Colorado’s fifth grade students, including those in small or rural communities who might otherwise be unable to participate.”
In 2013, CoBank made a donation that brought new technology to Young AmeriTowne, which allowed Young Americans to add 10 kiosks and 48 tablets to the three current Young AmeriTowne locations for student use.
This technology in Young AmeriTowne has allowed students to check their debit card balances, ‘like’ Young AmeriTowne through social media, and submit story ideas to the newspaper. Additionally, the tablets have allowed students to swipe debit cards for instant e-commerce transactions within each shop, create new websites for each shop with interactive icons, and track purchases of shop products. This technology advancement not only improved the Young AmeriTowne experience at current Young Americans locations, but also made the creation of a portable version -- Young AmeriTowne On the Road -- possible.
Young Americans Center for Financial Education is a nonprofit organization committed to developing the financial literacy of young people, up to age 22, through real life experiences and hands-on programs. The Center fulfills its mission by offering programs that complement and reinforce each other to build life skills, work skills and financial self-sufficiency. These include Young AmeriTowne, International Towne, Get aHead for Business, Money Matters classes, summer camps, and more. In addition, Young Americans Center houses the only real bank in the world for young people, Young Americans Bank, which shares the same educational mission of teaching children to be financially responsible. Since 1987, more than 500,000 youth have participated in the programs or bank. For more information on the Young Americans Center for Financial Education, visit www.yacenter.org.
CoBank is a $102 billion cooperative bank serving vital industries across rural America. The bank provides loans, leases, export financing and other financial services to agribusinesses and rural power, water and communications providers in all 50 states. The bank also provides wholesale loans and other financial services to affiliated Farm Credit associations serving farmers, ranchers and other rural borrowers in 23 states around the country.
CoBank is a member of the Farm Credit System, a nationwide network of banks and retail lending associations chartered to support the borrowing needs of U.S. agriculture and the nation's rural economy.
Headquartered outside Denver, Colorado, CoBank serves customers from regional banking centers across the U.S. and also maintains an international representative office in Singapore. For more information about CoBank, visit the bank's web site at www.cobank.com.