MassMutual Foundation to bring FutureSmartSM Challenge to Five Cities in 2017

MassMutual Foundation to bring FutureSmartSM Challenge to Five Cities in 2017

Financial education program features award-winning actor and best-selling author Hill Harper

SPRINGFIELD, Mass., January 11, 2017 –The MassMutual Foundation announced today that its FutureSmart Challenge, now in its fourth year, will visit five cities across the country in 2017, including Memphis, TN, Portland, OR, Phoenix, AZ, Oklahoma City, OK and Boston, MA.

The MassMutual Foundation’s FutureSmart Challenge is a national program that provides financial education to middle school students and offers them the opportunity to learn skills needed to make sound choices for their personal financial futures. The exciting interactive event is held in collaboration with select NBA teams, followed by Junior Achievement curriculum in participants’ classrooms during the school year.

“By learning how to make smart money decisions early, young people can achieve the financial knowledge needed to build a more confident and secure future,” said Dennis Duquette, Head of MassMutual Community Responsibility and President of the MassMutual Foundation. “In our fourth year of the Challenge, we will reach 2,000 – 3,000 students in each city contributing to our goal of reaching two million students by 2020 through our FutureSmart program.”

The MassMutual Foundation’s FutureSmart Challenge is hosted by award-winning actor and New York Times best-selling author Hill Harper.  Harper strives to engage participating middle school students and teach them tangible, memorable financial knowledge. At each event, students will learn:

1. What it costs to survive, live and thrive
2. The impact of education and career on income
3. What you spend your money on matters, highlighting the difference between ‘needs’ and ‘wants’
4. How you pay for things matters, highlighting the costs of consumer debt
5. The importance of saving and the power of time, highlighting the concept of compound interest

“Many young people are not prepared to make important financial decisions as they become adults. Teaching middle schoolers the difference between ‘smart money’ and ‘dumb money’ at an age where they are establishing lifelong habits prepares them to start thinking about saving, budgeting, and financial planning,” said Harper. “I look forward to bringing this influential program to students nationwide.”

At each event, students hear from NBA legends and players who share their opinions on education, careers and finances.  The NBA teams’ dunk squads, cheerleaders, dance teams, and mascots also provide engaging entertainment.

Following the events, students who participated will be taught Junior Achievement classroom curriculum led by local MassMutual representatives and Junior Achievement affiliate volunteers.

MassMutual’s FutureSmart Challenge schedule:

  • January 19, 2017, Memphis, TN – FedEx Forum
  • January 26, 2017, Portland, OR – Moda Center
  • February 9, 2017, Phoenix, AZ – Talking Stick Resort Arena (fourth visit)
  • February 27, 2017, Oklahoma City, OK – Chesapeake Energy Arena
  • March 29, 2017, Boston, MA – TD Garden (third visit)

Since its inception in 2014, MassMutual’s FutureSmart Challenge has reached more than 33,000 students and visited 14 cities including Houston, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Miami.

The MassMutual Foundation is working to help address the critical need for youth financial literacy through the national FutureSmart program. The success of the FutureSmart Challenge, combined with the critical need for financial education and opportunity to reach more students, led the MassMutual Foundation to launch a new FutureSmartSM digital curriculum at the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year.  The new web-based program was specifically developed for middle schoolers and is available in both English and Spanish at no cost to schools nationwide.  Since 2014, more than 450,000 students have benefitted from the FutureSmart program through the digital FutureSmart program and FutureSmart challenges. 

To learn more about FutureSmart, visit

About the MassMutual Foundation

The MassMutual Foundation strives to broaden economic opportunity for America’s youth and their families by investing in financial education across the United States and economic development, academic achievement & workforce development locally. The Foundation is a reflection of MassMutual’s longstanding dedication to corporate citizenship and its unwavering commitment to the communities in which we conduct business. To learn more about the MassMutual Foundation please visit

About MassMutual

MassMutual is a leading mutual life insurance company that is run for the benefit of its members and participating policyowners. MassMutual offers a wide range of financial products and services, including life insurance, disability income insurance, long term care insurance, annuities, retirement plans and other employee benefits. For more information, visit

MassMutual Financial Group is a marketing name for Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) and its affiliated companies and sales representatives.