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Advocacy & Public Affairs Committee


In March of 2012, the Illinois Jumpstart Coalition’s Board undertook a comprehensive strategic planning initiative, designed to refocus the organization’s attention on current priorities in youth financial literacy and better align resources with key objectives.

One of the outcomes of this project was the establishment of a new Advocacy & Public Affairs Committee, which is tasked with identifying and executing strategies to materially impact the financial capability of young people in Illinois. 

Current Environment

  • Consensus on the best path forward remains elusive.
  • The struggle to meet core public education objectives makes it difficult for administrators, school boards and legislators to prioritize universal finance and economics instruction.
  • A significant majority of educators acknowledge being unprepared to deliver personal finance information.
  • Many financial services, education, and public policy professionals have only a cursory awareness/understanding of the problem.
  • Gaps, overlaps, and inconsistencies are common.

Preceptorship Program

Targeted for launch in summer 2014, ILJC's new Preceptorship Program will bring influential stakeholders from around Illinois together with the most innovative concepts and important voices in financial education for an immersive conference designed to raise awareness, create and energize literacy advocates, and stimulate direct, local action to improve outcomes.

  • A spectrum of diverse perspectives will be presented.
  • Attendees will determine the solution(s) best suited to their particular situation.
  • Presenters will function not as lecturers, but as mentors, coaches and peers.
  • ILJC will facilitate ongoing post-conference dialogue and information sharing.
  • Participants will become members of a permanent network of like-minded professionals, working in different ways and different places, to achieve a shared goal.

Committee Composition

  • Michael Beacham of Money Savvy Generation 
  • Joanne Dempsey, formerly of Econ Illinois (Advisor) 
  • Ronetta Dewitt-Hall of the Illinois Securities Department (Member)
  • Pearl Natali of Columbia College Chicago (Member)
  • Jennifer Waters of Columbia College Chicago (Chair)
  • Nancy Harrison of Econ Illinois (Member)
  • Vicki Jobst of Benedictine University (Vice Chair)
  • Angela Lyons of the U of I Center for Economic & Financial Education (Member)
  • Marlene Rivera of Linne Elementary School (Member)
  • Helen Roberts of the University of Illinois at Chicago (Member)
  • Alice Wood of Wealth Watchers International (Member)

The A/PAC welcomes input and assistance from individuals and organizations interested in enhancing youth financial capabilities in Illinois and beyond.  Please feel free to contact us via Turn on JavaScript!.