Roseville Press Tribune
By: Joanna Jullien
June 12, 2010
You've heard of sending your kids to art camp or science camp. How about finance camp?
In response to a need to teach the next generation to be wise with their money, The Roseville Public Library and BeMoneySmartUSA are partnering to provide Finance and Business Camp Courses this summer.
The courses are open to teens ages 13-17, who will learn to start their own business and manage money. Forty teens will have the opportunity to secure a scholarship to participate in one of the three-day camps taught by BeMoneySmartUSA and hosted at the University of Phoenix Roseville campus in July.
"Finding employment opportunities as a teenager is challenging, especially in today's economy," said Librarian Jessica Huff, who wants teens to also consider starting their own business as an employment option.
In response to the "too big to fail" mortgage banking financial crisis, Marie Hall, founder and Executive Director of BeMoneySmartUSA, observes that our generation has not made financial literacy a priority to prepare ourselves and our children for a prosperous life.
Hall wants to help young people understand how their own choices can make money work for them and help secure their future. She envisions a renewed America wherein the next generation reclaims their financial independence.
According to Hall, after interviewing 226 teens in BeMoneySmartUSA workshops this past March, April, and May, very few could say that they have sat down to talk about money matters with their parents.
"We talk about the building blocks of financial stability, and asked the students to think of each of these components as the foundation or bearing wall for their financial house," said Hall, "One of these blocks includes spending money. However, as the students now know after taking this class, spending is only one of the components to managing financial stability and that without the skills and knowledge to balance components ... the financial house will collapse."
According to Hall, the recent "Teens and Money" survey results published by Charles Schwab & Co., Inc., revealed most teens believe they will achieve considerable success in the adult financial world, but don't realize what it will take to achieve that based on self-reported knowledge and behavior. According to Hall, the reality is that only 5 percent of the U.S. population currently earns a six-figure income and the average national wage stands at approximately $40,000.
"That is why we need to talk about all the components of money management, because our kids have no idea what it means to build wealth," Hall said. "And we live in a consumer culture that exploits those who are uninformed."
These workshops cover all matters financial including starting a business, job search and resume development, how to spend and save, what makes a good investment, and how to be a savvy user of credit.
The Three-Day Finance Course will enable teens to understand the vital personal finance, saving, investing, and credit principles that will empower teens for a future of successful financial management. Teens will enjoy demonstrations, games, contests, and activities where they team up to create and present "mock" investing portfolios of their investments and stock picks to a panel of local experts.
The Three-Day Business Course gives teens an in-depth look at business ownership. Students enjoy group activities and games as they develop skills in communication, problem solving and business decision-making. Teens will go home with a feasible business plan, ready to generate sales from their first business ventures. Students will have the opportunity to present their business concepts to a panel of local business owners.