Wednesday, December 17, 2014

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City Students Learn About Money By Teaching Others

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A group of high school students are part of a program where they teach others about money, and in the process, they are learning about money themselves. NY1's Tara Lynn Wagner filed the following report.

Your kid may have graduated from college, but that doesn't mean they're ready to fly the nest.

Between unemployment, low wages and sky-high student loan debt, it's no wonder a recent survey of teens found that one-quarter of them expect to be financially dependent on mom and dad until their late 20s.

"I think it overall reflects kids' concern about their futures, their uncertainty about their own financial means when they finish school and get into the work force," says Joseph Peri, president of Junior Achievement of New York.

In order to achieve financial independence, students need to be financially literate, and Magalie Alexis, principal at P.S./M.S. 282, says those lessons can't start too early.

"The younger the students are when they develop financial literary responsibility, the better prepared they will be when they become employees and to be able to get involved in the job market," Alexis says.

Some teens who are part of the Junior Achievement High School Heroes program are teaching elementary school students about the basics of currency and the roles different professions play in the community and the economy.

While the volunteers are called heroes, the future they are saving may be their own.

"In preparation for teaching their lessons, they themselves are learning valuable lessons about personal finance and financial management, so ultimately, they can break the cycle of poverty that some of them have been exposed to," says Kareen Francis of the Academy of Hospitality and Tourism High School.

"I learned that there is more to just spending money and there is budgeting and everything behind it," says Sharifa Alphonso, a participant in the Junior Achievement High School Heroes program.

In addition to learning how to manage money, the teens are also learning valuable skills that will better prepare them to make money in the future.

"They're learning public speaking skills, leadership skills," Peri says."

"Overcoming their fears, taking on new challenges, managing the students," Francis says. "Teamwork. Teamwork is such an important skill for the 21st century and for the workplace, and this requires teamwork and coordination."

The High School Heroes program was launched in New York City a decade ago. It is now available to thousands of students in 15 cities nationwide.

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