Three Miles for 3.3 Million Kids

Apr 18, 2023

The countdown has begun: in less than one month leaders from all over the nation’s capital will toe the line for the ACLI Capital Challenge on May 17.

The ACLI Capital Challenge road race is a treasured Washington tradition that began in 1981. Over the past 40+ years the race has featured notable competitors including Vice Presidents, Supreme Court Justices, network TV anchors and even a future Speaker of the House (John Boehner ran in 1991, 20 years before he became Speaker).

Some of the fastest participants will earn a trophy. Every finisher will earn a medal and the perennial classic Capital Challenge T-shirt featuring George Washington and Abe Lincoln in running shorts.

I don’t know who will cross the finish line first next month. But I do know this: America’s kids will be the real winners.

Since 2019, race proceeds have benefitted the financial educational programs offered by Junior Achievement USA (JA) to millions of students across the country. All told, the Capital Challenge participants will be running three miles to help 3.3 million kids served by JA’s financial education initiatives.

The evidence is clear. The road to financial certainty begins with financial education.

A Brookings Institution report found that financial literacy by teenagers correlates positively with higher asset accumulation and net worth by age 25. People with better financial education are more likely to save and plan for retirement, according to data from the TIAA Institute-GFLEC Personal Finance Index. And researchers at the Wharton School found that more than one-third of financial inequality in the United States could be accounted for by the differences in financial literacy.

Through our support of JA, we are helping to prepare America’s next generation to thrive. And thanks to our many sponsors and the hundreds of runners and walkers we’re expecting at next month’s event, we’ll be able to donate another large check to JA.

We’re looking forward to seeing everyone next month, including our celebrity runner, Boston Marathon Race Director Dave McGillivray. It’s going to be a great race for a great cause.

Susan K. Neely

Susan K. Neely is the President and CEO of the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI), the nation’s leading trade association determined to help families live better lives by achieving financial security and certainty. As president and CEO, Neely drives public policy and advocacy on behalf of ACLI’s member companies that represent 93 percent of industry assets and serve 90 million families.