Most of us aren’t surprised to hear that that average American has over $5k in credit card debt and that 40% of Americans don’t have enough savings to cover a $400 emergency. While in high school, students learn how to calculate derivatives and integrals, but most do not learn how to budget and save for the future. With only 17 states requiring a personal finance course in high school and 70% of parents having a hard time speaking to their kids about finances, it’s evident that most youth are ill equipped to be in control of their finances. And with skyrocketing student loans, now is as an important time as ever for people to be able to save their money effectively.
At the beginning of December, we launched our #WishlistWednesday campaign. We hope to raise enough to provide one scholarship to a high school senior in our Blueprints program. Our Blueprints program is a matched savings program, where for every $1 that a youth puts into the bank, ACDC matches $1. Over the course of 1 year, a youth can earn up to $1,000 in matched dollars that go toward future college expenses. After youth complete the Blueprints program, they will have $2,000 saved for college expenses!
All our youth participants come from immigrant families. Many of their parents are earning below the median income in Boston. Many will also be the first in their family to go to college.
Studies have shown that while financial education programs are helpful, the most effective programs emphasize financial capability. What’s the difference? Financial capability not only has an education component but also provides access to financial products and services, as well as opportunities for participants to practice what they have learned. These are key components for our Blueprints program. The 10 youth in our first Blueprints cohort will:
Meet monthly to learn about financial literacy skills
Set financial goals and timelines
Meet with a mentor who will make sure that the youth is making progress toward their goals
Deposit $25 to $75 a month into a savings account which will be matched by ACDC.
While we believe that the matched funds are a great incentive for saving regularly, we believe that the real outcome will only be realized years down the line when youth graduate from college, earn a steady paycheck and are in control of their finances their regular budgeting and saving.
Please help us reach $1,000 this holiday season so that we can provide a scholarship for one of our Blueprints youth!