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Tomorrow's Millionaires Are Today's Youth!!!

Organized by: La Donna Leazer

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THE STORY:

I work as an educator and curriculum coordinator at the Business and Economics Academy of Milwaukee (BEAM) which is located in Milwaukee's central city. In addition to a rigorous academic program, our school's focus is on basic economics and personal finance. It is what drew me to the school and it is what has kept me here for ten years now. We service approximately 750 students in grades K-8. I truly believe that educating inner city youth about our market economy and how the money system works will help eradicate poverty in the inner city. Every student at BEAM is taught financial literacy. Each teacher has a required curriculum at all grade levels. Students are pre and post tested in order to measure success and growth. We have a School Store where students work and we also have partnered with PNC bank and have a real bank located right inside the school. Many students participate in our Kids' Bank program. Students are encouraged to open long term savings accounts. Saving is a habit that must start early. Our teachers are expert at integrating other core subjects with economics. You really cannot get away from life without economics. It's everywhere beginning with one's own personal daily decisions. We find that students who stay with us grow up to be responsible consumers. The older students participate in competitions to challenge their knowledge. They attend annual Money Conferences with their families and a host of many other events and activities that support financial literacy. All students have opportunities each week to participate in "Question of the Week" where a financial literacy question is announced and students have two days to turn in their responses. Prizes are drawn at random for correct responses. There is so much more! Our premier club is our Millionaires' Club (5th-8th grade) and our Mini Millionaires' Club (3rd and 4th grade). These are dedicated students who participate in after school programming to continue to learn about economics and personal finance. Attending this JumpStart conference will allow me to continue my personal growth as an educator and bring back more ideas and activities for my students, as well as my colleagues. I was able to attend the conference on a scholarship last year and I took so much away from this conference. One thing I took away was Financial Football and Financial Soccer which are financial literacy video games. My middle school students still love to play themfor review and more learning. I took away so much from this conference and I am so excited and very much want to attend this year. It can only get better. I invite any one reading this post to contact me and set up an appointment to come out and see our students in action or join us at our next financial event. Once a year we hold a big parent workshop for parents. Those who complete the workshop receive what's called a "Second Chance" certificate allowing them to start over with a checking and/or savings account. Many of our parents want to learn to budget and manage their money but they simply do not know how. It's not something they were brought up with and sometimes they are too ashamed to ask for help. We take those fears away from them. In fact, there is a session at this year's conference that addresses bringing in parents when it comes to financial literacy. I really would like assistance in attending this conference. Your donation will be money well spent. Your "ROI" (return on investment) will be well worth it!! Thank you!

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La Donna Leazer

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