Livonia, Mich. – Oct. 19, 2007 – Downtown Detroit’s Rock Financial Junior Achievement Finance Park – the first of its kind in Michigan — recently celebrated its one-year anniversary at a ceremony featuring area school children, business leaders, elected officials and Rock Financial/Quicken Loans team members.

Quicken Loan’s Southeast Michigan-based Rock Financial branch system was the lead sponsor for Finance Park, donating nearly $1 million to construct the 12,500 square foot facility that is the cornerstone for a program teaching Detroit area middle and high school children about personal finance and key components of fiscal literacy.

In its inaugural year, nearly 4,000 students attending the Rock Financial JA Finance Park program have learned about investing, how credit works, insurance, personal budgeting and sound money management.

Quicken Loans/Rock Financial CEO Bill Emerson joined Detroit’s Deputy Mayor Anthony Adams and Junior Achievement’s Evan Weiner to recognize Finance Park’s achievements.

In his remarks to the audience, Emerson noted it’s essential to learn fiscal literacy at a young age.

“Everyone should understand the fundamental concepts of budgeting, investing and credit, at an early age,” said Emerson. “Learning sound financial practices early in life can have long-lasting consequences on personal credit.”

“The Rock Financial JA Finance Park curriculum augments our local schools’ curriculum by providing a forum in which kids prepare to make the type of personal financial decisions they will face throughout their lives,” he continued.

“As a mortgage lender, we see all too often the devastating affect not having this basic fiscal knowledge can have on one’s credit and the limitations it can create on one’s ability to rent an apartment, purchase a car or even buy a home, which is why we felt it was critically important to sponsor JA Finance Park,” he concluded.

As part of the Rock Financial JA Finance Park curriculum, students complete six week of classroom studies that teach them the importance of developing a personal budget, maintaining good credit, how interest works, and recognizing the true cost of financing purchases.

The program culminates with a trip to Rock Financial JA Finance Park, where students become “adults for a day.” The facility features branded storefronts that represent an insurance company, bank, car dealership, shopping mall, utilities, grocery store, mortgage lender and home builder.

Upon arrival, each student is assigned a unique personal scenario complete with a hypothetical career, income and family. Using this profile, they must develop a realistic monthly budget, and then must undertake a transaction at each store, all while staying within their budget. They learn to make real-world financial decisions about housing, transportation, clothing, food, insurance and healthcare.

In addition to Quicken Loans/Rock Financial, other Rock Financial JA Finance Park sponsors include AAA of Michigan, Allstate, AT&T, Comerica Bank, DTE Energy, General Motors, Humana, Little Caesars, Pulte Homes and the Somerset Collection.

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