The Circle Pressroom

Press Release
August 3, 2023

Circle and Junior Achievement of Northern California Launch Digital Financial Literacy Curriculum

Program Teaches Bay Area Students About Bitcoin, Blockchain, and NFTs While also Encouraging them to Apply for Circle Scholar Awards


BOSTON, Mass. & SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.  — August 3, 2023 — Circle Internet Financial, a global fintech firm and issuer of USDC, and Junior Achievement (JA) of Northern California, a renowned non-profit organization dedicated to equipping young people with skills for economic success, announced today the launch of the Digital Financial Literacy Curriculum in the Bay Area. This program aims to empower and educate high school students about internet-native financial services.

Both Circle and JA of Northern California are committed to expanding the reach of financial education and preparing students to succeed in a global economy. With the help of JA of Northern California, Circle has developed the Digital Financial Literacy Curriculum, a two-part program divided into lessons on the history and evolution of money, bitcoin, blockchain, NFTs, and stablecoins. In an early pilot with JA of Northern California summer interns, the first course received a 4.1 out of 5 rating, with feedback that 92% of participants recommended the lesson as a valuable resource for high school students and young adults.

Standing: (Left) Taran Barca-Hall, JA Regional Director and (Right) Hugo Kostelni, Franklin Templeton deliver JA’s pilot “All About Crypto” lesson to a group of JA students (June 2023).

As part of the program, JA of Northern California is also managing the Circle Scholar award program. One of 20 $5,000 scholarships will be awarded to digital financial literacy students to attend a post-secondary school of their choice. Circle Scholars will be selected from candidates who complete the Digital Financial Literacy Curriculum between 2023 and 2025, apply for the scholarship, and exhibit the necessary skills to succeed in post-secondary education.

“A key part of realizing Circle’s mission is ensuring everyone understands how to participate in the growing digital economy,” said Mercina Tillemann-Perez, VP of Circle Impact at Circle. “Working with Junior Achievement to break down the complexities of decentralized technology and digital assets will prepare students with resources to participate in and build the next generation of financial services and create a more inclusive and equitable community surrounding this industry.” 

“The opportunity to partner with Circle to develop and deliver informative and relevant information about the Digital Financial Literacy Curriculum is appealing," said Cristene Burr, President and CEO of Junior Achievement of Northern California. “We innovate and create cutting-edge curricula with our corporate partners that can scale constantly. What’s new is that we allow students to pursue their post-secondary education goals by competing for a Circle Scholar Award. That’s transformational.”

The Digital Financial Literacy Curriculum will be available to students throughout Northern California. Upon completion, students and teachers will learn more about the opportunity to apply for a Circle Scholar award. If your high school wants to participate, please email JA of NorCal at