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Young AmeriTowne turns 30 years old this year! More than half a million youth have gained a hands-on lesson in free enterprise—a generation of young people. To celebrate this accomplishment, we’re highlighting local business leaders who participated in AmeriTowne when they were kids. Today, meet JD Schneider, Associate at Faegre Baker Daniels LLP and former Bank President in AmeriTowne.
In 1990, Schneider was an elementary student at Holm Elementary, a Denver Public School located in the Hampden neighborhood that still participates in the program today. Even though he last set foot in AmeriTowne 30 years ago, Schneider vividly remembers his experience. “I remember being really excited about my job,” recalled Schneider who landed his top job choice, President of the Young AmeriTowne Bank. “At the end of the day, we had to account for all of the loan checks that came in.” Schneider also remembers learning how to write a check and purchasing products in Towne.
For Schneider, this early work experience provided a glimpse into the real world. Schneider said, “In Young AmeriTowne, I learned the very basic idea about how a job works. Students have a job, they earn money, they are able to buy something, and they can take time to enjoy their accomplishments.” Schneider held part-time jobs throughout high school and college, graduating from Colorado State University with a Computer Science degree. After a few years in the software field, Schneider went back to school. He earned a law degree from the University of Denver, and now at Faegre Baker Daniels, Schneider works with intellectual property cases.
Schneider credits his parents with teaching and providing access to financial knowledge at an early age. In addition to his childhood experience in Young AmeriTowne, Schneider had an account at Young Americans Bank, the only bank in the world specifically designed for kids. “My parents gave me a huge advantage. Financial education is such a vital thing—without this knowledge, you’re starting way behind the eight-ball,” he said.
With your support, Young AmeriTowne will continue to positively impact today’s young people for another 30 years. Volunteer. Provide a scholarship for a low-income student. Or, support the mission of Young Americans Center with an online gift or by donating a portion of your Colorado State tax refund. Help give Money Smarts to the next generation of young people in Colorado.
Did you participate in Young AmeriTowne as a student? What did you learn that sticks with you today? We want to hear from you! Send an email to Janet Redwine, Communications Director, at email@example.com.