About 100 professionals, parents and community members gathered in the Michele Clark High School auditorium Wednesday for a listening session sponsored by the Economic Awareness Council aimed at teaching young people the importance of knowing how to manage their money.
The event was part of the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability, a national program started by President Obama Jan. 29, 2010, to help Americans understand financial matters and teach them how to make informed financial decisions. The youth subcommittee is targeted at teaching financial literacy to young people.
There’s a significant need to identify financial capability solutions that work for students, to change behavior and help develop long-term life skills. Even with recent increases in financial education, on average, American youth fail basic financial literacy assessments.
Student debt has risen to now surpass credit card debt in total size; 70 percent of American families do not have enough emergency savings, and a third of families in many of our city’s neighborhoods do not have bank accounts.
The event featured student demonstrations from Young Illinois Saves, a collaborative effort of more than 50 organizations throughout the state, that has served more than 3,000 students since 2010 and generated more than 1,800 savings commitments. Savings pledges now total more than $1 million annually.
Roundtable discussions were led by professionals, including City Treasurer Stephanie D. Neely and John Rogers, chairman, CEO and CIO of Ariel Investments, as well as representatives from the Consumer Federation of America/American Saves, Young Illinois Saves, the Museum of Science and Industry, Ladder Up and the National Federation for Teaching Entrepreneurship.
“The Michele Clark High School freshmen AVID Saves leaders did a tremendous job providing a live demonstration of their program to other students. These students then all opened savings accounts with local ABC Bank,” the Economic Awareness Council’s Tracy Frizzell said in an e-mail.
For more information about the Economic Awareness Council, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.