“That was awesome.”
This was not the response I was expecting from my 12-year-old son after attending a financial literacy event on a Saturday.
I had just returned home from the Y-Fi event hosted by MakingChange and Junior Achievement at Howard Community College. My team sponsored the event and we worked the housing booth for the day. The event is amazing. Kids receive a scenario that includes their education, career, family status and monthly income. Then they basically play the game of Life – but in real life. They choose housing, insurance and transportation. They subtract expenses such as utilities, furniture, clothing, food and entertainment. It’s totally interactive. And it’s free.
As a sponsor and volunteer, I loved watching the parents and kids interact. Some parents were totally removed and wouldn’t give any advice. Others interacted with their kids and gave some advice but allowed the kids to make their own mistakes….I mean “choices.” Overall, the event really opened a dialogue between parents and kids about money and real life. It was great to see kids and parents huddled around the room discussing money and lifestyle choices.
It was also cool to see how confident most of these teens were. The event is designed for middle and high school kids. Most were between 12 and 17 years old and they were just amazing to me. They were glowing with self confidence, open, and eager to learn. The kids were engaged and they had fun. (Can you imagine being a teenager, being dragged to an educational event on a weekend and then spending an hour crunching numbers and balancing a budget? Ugh!)
When I got home this afternoon and asked my son “So what did you think of the event today?”, I did not expect him to say “It was awesome.”
But he did.
And then he asked me if it was being offered again next year.
Now that’s awesome.