Personal Finance Program
The Congressional Award – Personal Finance Program powered by
The Congressional Award Foundation has partnered with Intuit, maker of TurboTax, QuickBooks, and Mint, to develop our first ever personal finance program to help you own your financial future while earning hours towards your personal development goal.
The program is open to all youth regardless of ability, circumstance, and socioeconomic status. The personal finance program will help students develop critical skills by exploring and learning about key personal finance topics, demonstrating their skills using project based learning activities using real world tools, applying their new knowledge and skills to build their financial futures, and volunteering their time to give back to their communities.
Please read the instructions below to take you through the program step-by-step.
Step 1: Register
Ensure you have visited our program page to register online and submit your one-time $25.00 fee.
Step 2: Building your personal finance knowledge
The first step in earning hours towards your personal development goals is by going to our online curriculum and completing each personal finance playlist. Our online curriculum will help you learn key financial concepts before learning how to apply your knowledge using real world tools. You will be learning about the following:
- Building a financial foundation
- Investing in your future
- Building Financial Capability
Once you complete each of the four playlists be sure to take our survey to help provide feedback for future students. HINT: You will earn extra time for completing the survey!
Step 3: Demonstrating your personal finance skills
Once you have completed the four playlists from our online curriculum it is time to put your knowledge to the test. We have built 5 activities using real world tools, Mint and TurboTax, to help you demonstrate your new skills.
First, be sure to go through our Curriculum Orientation which provides a checklist to help you get started, create your student Mint account, connect to our fictional character “Isaiah”, and lastly go through an intro activity to help you get acquainted with Mint.
Second, once you complete the “Intro Activity” in our Curriculum Orientation you are ready to get started on the rest of the activities. Our Student activities will provide you with four more activities to earn extra hours. The activities will cover these personal finance topics:
- Comparing Savings Accounts
- Budgeting: Income and Expenses
- Evaluating Credit Card Offers
- Analyzing a Credit Report and Score
Third, after you complete the Student Activities for Mint it’s time to learn and practice filing taxes using the IRS Free File Program. Be sure to go through our Curriculum Orientation for taxes which provides a checklist to help you get started, create your student account, read and decide which fictional character(s) taxes you want to file.
Fourth, once signed into the IRS Free File Program be sure to look at the different W2s in our Student Activity and decide if you want to practice filing one or four different scenarios.
Step 4: Developing your financial future
After you complete both the Curriculum Overview and Student Activities for Mint and TurboTax it’s time to apply both your knowledge and skill to build your own financial picture. We have four additional activities you can apply to your life. Feel free to use any previous work to help you with the next four activities.
1. Budgeting Exploration (here)
2. Credit Exploration (here)
3. Savings Exploration (here)
4. Taxes Exploration (here)
Step 5: Community Volunteerism
It’s time to take your knowledge and skills to the next level and help others along their Personal Finance Journey. You are not limited to the below volunteer opportunities but use them as a steppingstone to understand ways you can give back to your community.