Volvo Financial Services (VFS) recently completed a yearlong collaboration with JA (Junior Achievement) Worldwide, bringing a message of economic empowerment through financial literacy education to more than 14,000 youth in Brazil, France, India, Italy, Peru, South Africa, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States.
In total, more than 140 VFS employees volunteered across nine countries, partnering with JA educators to instill the importance of learning financial skills, entrepreneurship, setting financial goals, budgeting and more.
“Teaching financial literacy skills and concepts will give these students the ability and mindset needed to make informed financial choices later in life, resulting in strong communities and a stronger society,”
said VFS President Marcio Pedroso.
“Nearly one out of five of our employees in these nine countries chose to volunteer their time, and I am grateful for their efforts, as well as the guidance provided by JA Worldwide. Together, we made a real impact on the lives of many young people around the world. We look forward to building on the progress made during this past year.”
The nine countries were selected based on locations where VFS employees live and work, and the curriculum was matched from JA’s broad resources to the local area. One example is the JA Company Program, which sees students exercise the practical skills required to conceptualize, capitalize and manage their own business venture to fill a need or solve a problem in their own community. The JA Company Program was taught in Spain, Italy and the UK, with VFS volunteers providing real-world guidance and experience to the student-led startups.
“VFS’ partnership with JA not only invests in developing youth financial literacy skills across nine geographic areas,”
said Asheesh Advani, CEO of JA Worldwide,
“but also empowers VFS employee-volunteers to work directly with students as mentors and role models. JA’s theory of change—to build self-efficacy in young people—depends on adult role models like those at VFS, who mentor JA students and share their own path to a healthy financial future.”
The collaboration between VFS and JA is fully aligned with the Volvo Group’s overall sustainability ambitions, which include a commitment to each of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The teaching of financial literacy skills will have a positive impact on several SDGs, including helping end poverty, supporting quality education, empowering women and girls, and more.
JA is a global leader in youth development, with a focus on financial literacy, workforce readiness and entrepreneurship. Reaching more than 15 million young people annually, JA delivers hands-on, immersive learning in entrepreneurship, work readiness, financial health and more.