There is a desperate need for families to intervene in the lives of their kids to create a hunger and passion for learning. We are living in an age and time when literacy is demanded for everyday living. In communities of color, the need for financial literacy out paces the need to read and write in competitive ways. Although, the basics-math, reading and writing, have been the most coveted skills to improve quality of life, it is possible to survive weak in basic skills, but virtually impossible to be lacking in financial matters.
Not knowing how to plan, budget and make choices between needs and wants stresses the life that struggles everyday. Meeting the needs of the family while making minimum wage or being classified as a member of the working poor is exacerbating. While at the same time, being made the cliche-ish end of insensitive jokes made by critics who do not understand what it means to be poor.
People of color have strikes against them by virtue of color and name. Decades of research has proven that your name influences employment opportunities. Screening candidates prior to the interview by last name and now, by having social media access, creates a conundrum, and further exacerbates everything.
Early learning opportunities and outreach to kids is critical. By the time they reach Pre-k, their sense of understanding their ability to “influence” the buying habits of their parents, is real. While everyday kids influence their parents, there are “real” Kid influencers out there, on a national and global scale. They are branded and paid to influence the buying habits of other kids who in turn pressure their parents into buying their brands.
Introducing kids early on to the idea of continuing education gives us a shot at combating poverty. Whether kids attend a college or university, trade school or as I call it, a “SMOB (Starting My Own Business) Qualified”, the key is to keep learning. The more learning, the greater the possibility they will stumble upon money matters or be deliberate in understanding and applying its principles to their life.
Drawing attention to the need to keep learning begins with a simple introduction. Reach out to parents and start priming the pump! Asking critical questions that promote an interest in thinking is a great way to start the ball moving forward. If parents are given the opportunity to treat their kids as if they have a future and hope, the kids will believe it an no matter what happens they will never fall below the stars.
My grandmother – in- law had the most prophetic saying, “Reach for the moon and even if you miss, you’ll fall among the stars. How true and how inspirational this is. There is no misfortune in her spoken word. The wisdom of simple principles is enough to kick start their journey.
- According to www.thinkimpact.com in the fall of 2019, 2.3 million students between the age of 18-24 enrolled in college. And, kids over 24c years old represented over 200.800 students the same reporting year.
- The trade and technical school market growth, according to www.finacesonline.com, will reach 16 million.
- The Huffington Post writes in an article titled, ” 72 Percent of HS Students Are Entrepreneurial and Corporate America Just Doesn’t Get It, that 72% of high school students want to start their own business someday. 61% expect to start a business right after college.”
To think that kids can only succeed with a college degree has never been true. The falsity of this has been proven by hard working people groups especially in the south on farms with little education, resources or ability to influence, made a decent living by being entrepreneurial. Survival demanded it and they produced. Of course with technology and the competitiveness of people and machines, the skills back then would never provide today. However, the tenacity and the commitment to “survive” will always be present no matter what age. Concerting passion and desire into a business plan has enormous potential.
My upbringing never included a lesson on managing money. My grandparents were tenant farmers and so we ate off of the land and credit from a country store for incidentals. My grandfather never owed more than about $12.67 at one time. The numbers are etched into my mind after countless treks with him to the store and him being disgruntled over a bill of $12.67.
As I grew a little older, I watched my mother manage well. She never believed in debt. Once she said, “don’t ever get a lot of credit cards, and I never did. But, that did not prevent lots of financial challenges trying to support a husband in school and raise two small children. When I look back, I can’t figure out why I did not dive into books on financial management. It was probably because every dime was already obligated and I saw no need to do anything. How wrong I was.
Learning about money is the best step in securing the financial future your keeps are seeking. Courses are online and available or, make a few calls to friends. They can point you to someone who knows something. Six degrees of separation is a principle to believe in. You are not separated by what you are in need of more than about 6 people, 6 calls or 6 introductions.