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Instilling good money management skills in youth and young adults
Young adults and youth who receive money management education when the principles are most relevant to their stage of life, are more likely to take those skills into adulthood. Without intentionally exposing young children to financial concepts and educating pre-teens and teens on proper money management practices, they will inevitably pick up poor money habits. We don’t want to leave our youth’s future financial management skills to chance.
Operation HOPE offers programs for both school-age youth as well as young adults so we can provide age-appropriate financial education during a young person’s formative years.
To meet the needs of the community in the midst of and post COVID-19, Operation HOPE created and launched a virtual model for school-age youth programs. The virtual model creates the opportunity to gain real-time feedback that has also allowed us to learn ways to engage with communities and young people digitally regardless of geographical location or available technology.
As a result, the school-age youth programs are currently undergoing a transformation to amplify our impact through scalable programming and support options that include the expansion of our digital technology infrastructure, development of engaging, research-based curriculum and implementation of groundbreaking models in youth financial literacy education.
Young adult learners (learners in their late teens and early 20’s) experience emerging financial independence within a short period of time, creating a unique opportunity to build positive financial behaviors and foster a healthy financial mindset.
Over the course of the year, young adults participate in a combination of group education workshops, group coaching sessions, and 1:1 coaching. Programming for this age group is tailored to help them better understand financial topics that are relevant to planning for the future including: budgeting, savings, credit and debt reduction, income and benefits, identity protection, student loans, and the emotions of money.
While we are currently working in select cities across the US, our goal is to reach every classroom in America.
In order to accomplish this, we need both financial support for curriculum development and implementation as well as the help of volunteers who are willing to spend time in the classroom, working alongside our Youth coaches, to share their knowledge and serve as a financial mentor to the students.
Will I need to pay for this?
There is NO cost to the students, teacher or school to participate in HOPE’s Youth programming. This initiative, like all of the services that Operation HOPE provides to adults, homeowners and small business owners, are offered FREE OF CHARGE.
How much commitment is required? How long are the programs?
Youth and young adult programming is delivered virtually throughout the academic year in a series of developmentally appropriate, online group-education workshops. To make the inclusion of financial literacy education as seamless as possible, HOPE Youth workshops and resources are designed to fit in with existing curriculum, national financial education standards, and school calendars. In our experience, the most effective learning environments are those in which the community, school administration, teachers, and parents/guardians all play a role in helping to teach and reinforce the concepts and tools offered by the program.
How should I get started?
Youth programming is delivered through public and private partnerships at no cost to the participants. Led by trained HOPE Youth Financial Wellbeing Coaches and HOPE trained partner staff or volunteers in school-based locations, HOPE delivers whole-group financial literacy curricula for middle and high school students that focus on financial basics and incorporates entrepreneurship projects.
Young adults participating through community, university or college partnerships (ages 18-24) receive 1-1 coaching in addition to virtual instruction on financial basics, student loans, and early planning for retirement led by a Youth Financial Wellness Coach.
Do volunteers need any specific skills or background?
While volunteers do not need to have expertise in any particular area of banking, accounting, or finance, we are looking for volunteers who have genuine interest in financial literacy and a passion for sharing their knowledge with children.
What is the volunteer time commitment?
The minimum volunteer commitment is 1.5 hours a month. For the safety and security of all of our students and their schools, Operation HOPE does require that volunteers have a background check and that they participate in an 1 hour on-line orientation process in addition to having a brief preparation call with the HOPE Youth instructor before each class.