RISE has been celebrating Financial Literacy month throughout the month of April in all of our programs! Goal Card celebrated with our annual event for juniors and seniors, the "Planning Your Dreams" Forum.
This year, we had students from Melrose High School, KIPP Collegiate School, Booker T. Washington High School, and Southwind High School. The students worked together on activities that highlighted the costs of higher education, so that they were able to plan and make good choices as they prepared to apply to and to attend college.
The students also did price comparisions of "real world" financial situations, like buying a car or a home. They chose their dream items, researched the prices and payments, then compared them to the salaries in their chosen fields. The students were shocked to learn the cost of some of the cars that they wanted and what a big piece of their income those car payments would be!
The students also discussed the importance of searching for resources, like scholarships, to help them make the most of their opportunities.
Our volunteers, staff, and the students look forward to the event every year. It's always great to see the information "click" and to see the kids realize how much living expenses cost and how quickly their paychecks can be spent!
Your support helps us to have events like the Forum and to help our Goal Card students to learn money management skills that they often do not learn at home. Thank you for your support of Goal Card!
Ms. Taylor, a divorced mother of four, entered the Save Up Program in March of 2013 with dreams of becoming a homeowner.
Getting to the six weekly financial management workshops was a challenge for Ms. Taylor. Her plate was full as a mother, a graduate student, and a full-time social services worker. In January 2014, she was able to purchase her home.
Ms. Taylor believes that being a part of the Save Up Program enhanced her life in many ways.
She says that Save Up has helped her to set financial goals. She said, “I want to be sure that I take the knowledge that I have gained one step further by saving and investing my tax returns this year. I have been doing the research so I can make an informed decision on how to invest my money."
She has also shared with her children the importance of developing good spending and saving habits. She says, "I want them to grow up making financially sound decisions.”
Ms. Taylor was able to make her dream of homeownership a reality with the knowledge and skills that she acquired in the Save Up program!
We just completed a busy week of report card redemptions in the Goal Card program! Our students brought their report cards and met with volunteer coaches, who helped them to tally up their points and set goals for the next 9 weeks.
We have over 500 students enrolled in the Goal Card program - more than 400 of those students banked their points this quarter! The students are learning to save their points, to use to buy something bigger and better for themselves at the end of the year.
One of the students shared that he thought about redeeming his points this quarter for headphones. He realized after talking with his Goal Card coach that he could save his points for this quarter and he would have enough points for a gift card, which he could use to buy his headphones AND music to listen to!
We are building a community of savers, who are learning important financial literacy concepts, like the importance of delayed gratification!