Inspiring Change through Student Empowerment

Inspiring Change through Student Empowerment:

Crystal Cove Alliance’s new Microfinance and the Environment Program launches!


Now entering its second year of testing, CCA’s Microfinance & the Environment curriculum will introduce over 450 high school students to a unique blend of financial literacy and environmental sustainability this spring, using the vehicle of microfinance loans.

Designed by a collaborative partnership between CCA, corporate partner Experian, and local high school teachers, the curriculum uses five classroom lessons to teach students how sustainable local solutions can be catalyzed by microfinance loans – small loans made available to people, often in developing nations, who don’t have the credit history to get a traditional loan from a bank.

Student teams select microfinance projects that meet their criteria as collective lenders and argue before a panel of experts why their selected projects should be funded. One project from each class is funded for $250.  Last year during the first round of testing, students decided to invest in an environmentally sustainable coffee farm in Costa Rica that uses traditional Mayan farming techniques.

One of the early adopters of the curriculum was Debbie Miyamoto’s AP Biology class from San Juan Hills High School.  There, students became exposed to the environmental and societal challenges that the rest of the world faces, but most importantly they learned that they have the power to make a difference.

“This program is important because it gives students an opportunity to help make our planet more sustainable,” says Debbie.  “It’s more rewarding to them because it’s not just an assignment, it’s real and it really makes a difference in someone else’s life.”

Image above: Debbie’s AP Biology class, along with their principal and the Crystal Cove Alliance Education team


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