Student show their Junior Achievement Certificates

Twelve community bank employees volunteer in the twelfth year of Junior Achievement

March 30, 2023

TS Institute, the financial literacy-arm of TS Bank, launched its twelfth year facilitating Junior Achievement (JA) at Treynor Community Schools and its second year at College View Elementary with Council Bluffs Community School District with 12 bank employees and several community members visiting over 21 classrooms in grades K-5 in southwest Iowa.

TS Institute was first involved with Junior Achievement in late 2010 in the Treynor Community School District. This year, the 12 employees from within the organization and community members volunteered their time to teach five lessons in their assigned classroom. The program launched February 1 and concluded March 30.

Junior Achievement is the oldest, largest and fastest-growing nonprofit economics education program throughout the world. JA inspires and prepares young people to succeed in a global economy and learn about their community, jobs and entrepreneurship. JA reaches students with fun, hands-on programs that teach students financial literacy and equip them with the knowledge and skills to make better life choices.


Pictured above: Kristin Larsen, community JA volunteer for Mrs. Wetzel’s fourth grade class.

 All programs align with national and local curriculum standards; therefore, educators fully enjoy the opportunity to involve their students. Junior Achievement’s delivery model combines caring volunteers with proven programs has shown to promote self-belief and a sense of purpose in students.

“I really enjoy the Junior Achievement program each year. I feel that it aligns with our standards very well. The lessons introduce the vocabulary with review throughout the week. The agenda allows for group activities, self-reflection and engaging activities for the students to learn and review, while at the same time connecting with prior lessons," shared Jennifer Wetzel, fourth grade teacher at Treynor Elementary School.

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Students are encouraged to think practically about starting a business with entrepreneurial principles to meet the requirements of a demanding and ever-changing workforce. The students learn new vocabulary words, engage in hands on activities and games and discuss local businesses and entrepreneurs.

“Volunteering for JA was a good opportunity to fill my passion for teaching. It is fun to teach students about big financial concepts like taxes, why votes count, and how to be a working member of the community and how the movement of money benefits multiple places, businesses and community members," shared Sarah Bazer, universal banker with TS Bank.

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Pictured above: (left) Krysta Stevens, TS Prosperity Group employee pictured with Ms. Crouse first grade class. (right) Heather Campbell, TS Bank employee pictured with Mrs. Elwood’s Kindergarten class.

TS Institute facilitates the recruitment and training of Junior Achievement volunteers to help deliver the lessons in the classrooms. The program allows community members to be involved in financial literacy instruction and gives teachers an opportunity to take advantage of third-party resources to offer different perspectives to their students.

"This is my second year to volunteer with JA and have so much fun interacting with the students and helping enrich their lives through financial literacy.I could not wait to be able to do it again this year, as I had a bonus incentive to be a part of my son’s first grade classroom," shared Trisha Beccard, financial portfolio advisor with TS Prosperity Group. "Junior Achievement empowers kids to learn about how money works—its purpose at home, in the community and in life. It creates building blocks that allow them to thrive as young people, setting them up for success in the future with the foundation of earning, saving, spending, and donating money to strengthen and grow our communities. Our future young leaders are so creative and captivating entrepreneurial spirits in the classroom is so rewarding."

To learn more about Junior Achievement, contact Traci Dresher, programs manager with TS Institute at 712.487.0483 or

Header photo: Kelsey Stupfell, TS Bank employee pictured with Mrs. Mrsny’s fifth grade class.

About TS Bank: TS Bank’s mission is to Ignite Prosperity® in the communities it serves. Leading the resurgence of community banking, TS Bank reinvests 10 percent of their net income locally; hosting educational events and partners with local organizations and non-profits. TS Bank was chartered in 1923 and has $393 million in assets, along with the largest Iowa state-chartered C-Corp trust department west of Des Moines at nearly $220 million in assets named TS Prosperity Group. Locations include Treynor, Macedonia, Atlantic, Corning, Council Bluffs and Ames, Iowa. For more information, visit

About Junior Achievement: Junior Achievement is the oldest, largest and fastest-growing nonprofit economics education program throughout the world. JA inspires and prepares young people to succeed in a global economy and learn about their community, jobs and entrepreneurship with hands-on programs, knowledge and skills to make better life choices. For more information, visit