United, We Can

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18 VOLUNTEERS HELPED BOOST FINANCIAL LITERACY OF 2000+ STUDENTS

April 29, 2021

Learning the principles of personal finance early in life can pay off. It lays a foundation for future success in handling money wisely.  

Those truths led 18 people to volunteer for the sixth annual Unite for Teen Financial Literacy program, a joint project of United Way of Greater Cincinnati and Junior Achievement. During the week of Feb. 15, volunteers explained financial basics — including the importance of planning and staying within a budget — to approximately 2,000 Cincinnati Public Schools seventh-graders in 80 classrooms.  

“Students will be in charge of their own finances someday; it is in their best interest to gain a solid understanding of how to manage those finances in a responsible way early on,” said Nick Sabet, a teacher whose Walnut Hills High School students participated in the program.  

In past years, volunteers such as James Clark, a finance manager for Procter & Gamble, visited schools in person. But this year, because of COVID-19, he and other volunteers recorded themselves teaching their lesson, and the videos were shared virtually with students. 

“Being unable to engage in the classroom was disappointing, and the virtual setting made me feel very distant from the learners,” Clark said, “but as I began recording, it actually turned out to be a fun experience. I was glad to be able to share financial literacy in my own unique way and hope it has a lasting impact on the learners.”  

In the videos they created, volunteers were encouraged to share a bit about their careers. 

“I currently work as a software trainer and am very comfortable teaching online,” said Lynn Beirl, an education and training manager who participated for the first time this year. “So, this volunteer opportunity seemed to be a natural extension of what I do almost every day at my job. And the topic is very important.” 

Indeed, financial woes prevent many people from having a good quality of life, which is why United Way focuses on helping families achieve financial stability. For young people, that process can start with lessons about the importance of building healthy money habits. 

United, We Can

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