VALDOSTA – Lowndes High School students are getting a lesson in life thanks to a personal finance class currently being taught on campus.

The class is a product of Dave Ramsey, who began Ramsey Education after seeing a need for adults to have a better understanding of finances. Many felt they would have benefitted from learning more about finance in high school, which is what Ramsey Education sets out to do.

A donation from the Jackson Charitable Foundation for $1 million helped sponsor the courses through Ramsey Education, which increased sponsored schools from 250 to 500 with LHS being one of the recipients.

“We’re thrilled that the Jackson Charitable Foundation doubled its contribution for the 2019-2020 school year,” Jim King, executive vice president of Ramsey Education, said in a statement. “So many teachers are unable to secure funding for critical courses, and the Jackson Charitable Foundation’s commitment to bridging that gap provides thousands more high school students access to life-changing personal finance education."

According to Ramsey Education, after taking Foundations in Personal Finance, students who benefited from the Jackson Charitable Foundation’s 2018-19 donation grew their overall knowledge of personal finance by 28 percentage points.

Philip Pieplow is one of the Lowndes High School teachers of the personal finance class and he said it fills a need to teach kids financial foundations.

The course teaches students about debt, budgeting solutions, insurance, investment and other topics that will help them upon entering the workforce. They are taught about how credit card companies will begin targeting them after high school and how student loans work.

This 45-day curriculum is partnered with the school's driver's ed program with half the students taking driver's ed and the other half taking personal finance, then they switch.

Pieplow said preparing for future career paths and college is vital, especially during the second semester of sophomore year or first semester of junior year so they can begin taking the tests required.

Desiree Carver is a reporter at the Valdosta Daily Times. She can be reached at (229) 244-3400 ext. 1215.

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