With a goal of improving financial literacy statewide and within its served communities, OceanFirst Bank N.A. in Toms River, N.J., donated $10,000 to Junior Achievement (JA) of New Jersey, which is part of a national nonprofit that provides millions of students across the country with career readiness skills. OceanFirst has consistently volunteered with the organization to educate more than 75,000 K–12 students across 170 New Jersey schools.

“It’s a great marriage between a banking institution and an organization that delivers financial literacy,” said Rob Quackenbush, vice president and retail regional manager at the $13 billion-asset community bank. 

“[Junior Achievement] makes a tremendous impact on the students that it works with,” he added. “It’s a great way for the bank to connect with future generations and help them along their financial literacy path.”

OceanFirst volunteers participated in the JA Finance Park program, which focuses on budgeting and career paths. They also worked with the JA High School Heroes program, an initiative in which high school students teach younger kids about financial literacy. Throughout Financial Literacy Month this past April, OceanFirst Bank’s staff met with about 375 people—many of them students—to share how finances can impact many facets of life. 

Regarding the importance of OceanFirst’s values in education, Quackenbush said, “Teaching financial literacy at a young age really empowers students and sets them up for success in managing their own individual finances, as well as possibly setting them on a path to a career in finance.” —Christopher Garritty