In support of April being National Financial Literacy Month, MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership (MENTOR) is recognizing those who have demonstrated a deep commitment to delivering critical connections to our nation’s young people in this way, to aid them in achieving success at home, school and ultimately in the workforce. Learn about the work MENTOR New York has done in support of financial literacy in this blog post written by AT&T Aspire Mentoring Corps VISTA, Jaye Han.
As an AT&T Aspire Mentoring Corps VISTA serving with Mentor New York, an affiliate of MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership (MENTOR), I am in a unique position to assist the site in their capacity building efforts. At the beginning of my service year, I noticed the general push for financial literacy around the country. Because Mentor New York is always working to offer timely and relevant resources to best support local mentoring programs, I proposed the possibility of hosting a financial literacy workshop.
We decided the best way to pursue this would be to host a workshop at our annual Mentoring Matters Conference in Long Island which brings together hundreds of adults and youth every year. Bethpage Federal Credit Union, a longtime partner of Mentor New York, has been a dedicated supporter of youth development and mentoring, devoting their resources to host financial literacy workshops for adults and youth of Long Island. Leveraging this partnership, we were able to offer two financial literacy courses at the Conference: one for adults in the youth development field including mentors, coordinators, and teachers, and another for youth.
The workshops were facilitated by Jessica Lucas, Community Development Relations Manager at Bethpage Federal Credit Union. The first workshop focused on giving mentors, program coordinators and youth development professionals the right strategies and tools to have conversations with young people about earning, managing and saving money in a constructive way. The youth course was a hands-on interactive workshop that allowed the students to experience first-hand what it is like to budget and make spending choices based on one’s income.
As a child of first generation immigrants, I know that accessing the right resources to become financially literate can be challenging. So I’m thrilled to have supported Mentor New York in providing such a great opportunity to promote financial literacy for youth, and thankful to Bethpage Federal Credit Union for facilitating such engaging and informative workshops.
Mentoring presents a unique and powerful platform for young people to gain knowledge, perspective and information that they may not be getting elsewhere. Leveraging this platform to provide opportunities for young people to learn about money and finance is the first step in ensuring that our youth feel empowered to make smart, informed choices as they inevitably grow into adults with many financial responsibilities.
9 million young people in America are in need of a trusted adult in their lives to guide them in moments big and small. Join the In Real Life movement and become an advocate, make a donation or become a volunteer.