About 100 students from Memphis high schools such as Booker T. Washington, Melrose and White Station spent Saturday (April 5th) preparing for their financial futures.
The Planning Your Dreams Summit was held at the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Memphis Technical Training Center, where the teens focused on improving their understanding of financial terms and learning how to budget and manage their income.
The summit was hosted by The RISE Foundation, a nonprofit that empowers Memphians by improving their financial literacy skills. The teens who participated are members of the RISE Foundation's Goal Card program, an incentive-based program that requires goal setting and improvements in grades, conduct and attendance.
The program serves students in grades 5-12. Each resides in ZIP code 38126, which has a high concentration of low-income families. Participants learn to set and achieve academic, financial and life goals, and have been shown to outperform their peers, with 100 percent continuing on to higher education.
The summit covered the financial literacy skills prospective college students need to make good choices about financing their educations.
"I learned some things about financial literacy that will help me throughout life," said Lyrette Brown, a sophomore at Melrose High School. "Honestly, I thought it would be boring, but I actually had a good time. Hopefully, I will continue to succeed, and one day help someone the way the folks at RISE have helped me."
Teens took a realistic look at the projected income for their desired future careers and compared it with the cost of their desired lifestyles to see whether the two aligned.
"We feel it's imperative for students, especially our high school juniors and seniors, to be more aware of what to expect when it comes to their personal finances," said Ricco Mitchell, RISE Fountain Senior Coordinator. "They'll learn how to better handle financial decisions as they matriculate into post-secondary education, the work force and adulthood in general."
Agenda topics included information from the Council for Economic Education, University of Memphis, University of Tennessee Health Science Center and University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
The students received gift bags filled with goodies and valuable financial information made possible by sponsors and collaborating partners First Tennessee Bank; International Paper; Nike; University of Memphis' Fogelman School of Business & Economics; and Franklin Coaches & Tours.
This was the third year for the Planning Your Dreams Summit.