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Junior Achievement of Central Iowa celebrates the opening and first simulation at JA Finance Park Powered by Wells Fargo

News Release

For Immediate Release:

October 14, 2021


Tracy Zimmerman

Junior Achievement of Central Iowa



Junior Achievement of Central Iowa celebrates the opening and first simulation at JA Finance Park Powered by Wells Fargo


Des Moines, Iowa   Tuesday, October 5th, Junior Achievement of Central Iowa hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony in honor of the grand opening of the new space designed for the operation of JA Finance Park powered by Wells Fargo. Donors, sponsors, board members, volunteers, educators, staff, and distinguished guests were on site to welcome students from the 8th grade class of the Norwalk Community School District. Students walked the red carpet and into the very first simulation held in the newly constructed space located at 6100 Grand Avenue in Des Moines. JA Finance Park simulations were created to improve the financial literacy of our future business leaders and employees.

Junior Achievement has created this exciting reality-based learning environment for middle and high school students that has been made possible and fully operational by many generous donors with Wells Fargo leading the way with a $250,000 contribution and MidAmerican Energy donated $100,000.  John Deere Financial, and a Prairie Meadows Legacy Grant each provided $75,000 towards the completed project. 

 “The majority of teenagers lack interest in finance and budgeting which can lead to unhealthy financial decisions in their future. JA Finance Park is meant to combat that apathy by having teenagers dream of the future lifestyle they want. It is then they start to connect the dots between lifestyles, income, careers, and education. It is then they realize the opportunity to create their desired future starts today.” said Ryan Osborn, President, JA of Central Iowa. 

The very first simulation at JA Finance Park inspired 49 Norwalk 8th graders which translates to 882 instruction contact hours and provided an opportunity for 16 volunteers to be a part of the simulation. Volunteers from Principal, Vision Bank, ITA Group, Farm Bureau Financial Services, & West Bank all took part as role models within the experience, guiding students through the day and showing participants that financial literacy and sound money management skills are essential to success.

While construction is now complete and the program introduced, efforts are ongoing to keep the momentum for simulations to continue to inspire students. Without volunteers, programs like JA Finance Park simply cannot exist. To get involved with volunteering, interested professionals are asked to contact Registration for JA Finance Park is now open and if you are an educator looking to register your 7th-12th grade students, please contact



Junior Achievement (JA) of Central Iowa’s mission is to empower students so that they can create a bright and fulfilling future. As K-12th grade experts in financial literacy, entrepreneurship and, career readiness programs, JA connects business and school communities through their volunteer network to deliver relevant, inspiring and, standard-aligned educational experiences. During the 2018-2019 school year, JA of Central Iowa served 19,835 students across 156 schools and 24 counties through their in-school programs, on-site simulations and, summer camp. Junior Achievement of Central Iowa is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. For more information, visit



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