New York, N.Y. — A non-profit financial research organization recently dubbed America’s youth “Generation Broke,” based on reports showing that credit card debt among 18-24 year olds has risen by 104 percent over the past decade. Today’s young people carry the highest student loan balances in U.S. history, which averaged $19,900 in 2002.
The demographic at Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) is one of the hardest hit. The burden of financial debt, coupled with the fact that three-fourths of all BMCC students come from families with incomes of $25,000 or less, indicates that the students here would benefit greatly from a program that will give them the knowledge necessary to make astute financial choices. This is exactly what will happen this fall when the College will offer the BMCC financial literacy program, Money Works, utilizing a portion of Investing Pays Off® , a financial literacy curriculum created by Merrill Lynch.
Merrill Lynch is supporting the BMCC financial literacy program with a grant of $100,000. The program will be delivered in collaboration with professionals from the Financial Planning Association of New York (FPANY), a non-profit organization. Program instructors will include Merrill Lynch employees, as well as professionals representing a broad scope of the financial industry. The program is slated to begin in fall 2006, and will run for the 2006-2007 academic year. It will provide BMCC students and all members of the BMCC community with critical financial understanding and skills.
“The commitment Merrill Lynch has made to BMCC and our students is a great honor,” said Antonio Pérez, president of BMCC. “This innovative program will provide our students with the information necessary for them to achieve the kind of financial health that will benefit their future.”
“Financial knowledge and independence are key to enabling these deserving young people to pursue their dreams and achieve success. Our dedicated volunteers engage the students and bring the financial curriculum to life for them,” said Eddy Bayardelle, president of the Merrill Lynch Foundation.
The program, designed to foster financial independence and business savvy, will consist of 16 one-hour classes scheduled throughout the 2006-2007 academic year and will be open to the community at-large. Students will first learn to make intelligent financial choices with their own money by learning about budgeting, the time value of money, and the basics of saving and investing. Concepts such as risk, credit, insurance, and the ability to achieve a sound financial future are also a part of the Money Works curriculum.
A central component of the program involves a group of 20 BMCC students, who have been selected to serve as Financial Ambassadors. Respected business and financial professionals including Merrill Lynch executives will mentor the Ambassadors, who will receive full BMCC tuition scholarships. Regular meetings with their mentors and additional course assignments will further the Ambassadors’ financial and personal development. The 20 Ambassadors will also serve as peer mentors to other BMCC students, assisting them with their own financial concerns.
Money Works Presentations Scheduled for Fall Term
September 13, 2 to 3:30 pm
Goal Setting: Put a Dollar Sign on Your Dreams.
September 27, 2 to 3:30 pm
Spending & Assets: What Are You Really Worth and How Can You Be Worth More?
October 11, 2 to 3:30 pm
Credit Reports: Your Real-life Report Card. Get a Higher Grade!
October 24, 5:30 to 6:45 pm
Insurance, Who Needs It: How to Safeguard Your Money, Your Future, Your Health.
November 8, 2 to 3:30pm
More Insurance: Everybody’s Trying to Sell It to You, Learn How Much to Buy for Less.
November 15, 2 to 3:30 pm
Taxes: Even You Can Do Your Own Taxes.
December 2, 10:30am to Noon
Taxes: Tips and Traps.
December 6, 2 to 3:30pm
Dressing & Dining for Success: How to Get & Keep Your Job
There is no cost to attend, but reservations are required.To reserve your seat, and for further information email: email@example.com.
All MoneyWorks programs will take place at Borough of Manhattan Community College, 199 Chambers Street, New York City.