Financial assistance

Programs aim to help teach young people how to build wealth | Business


Former Philadelphia Eagles security Malcolm Jenkins said research shows children with bank accounts are more likely to go to college and more likely to own stocks when they grow up to be young adults. .

That’s why the goal of his Malcolm Jenkins Foundation is to open 1,000 bank accounts for students in Philadelphia, New Jersey, Ohio and Louisiana. Jenkins said he called each of those states home. He is now a security for the New Orleans Saints, played college football at Ohio State, and is a native of New Jersey.

In May, his foundation kicked off the effort by opening bank accounts for the 260 students enrolled at Parkway Northwest High School for Peace and Social Justice. Two-time Super Bowl champion Jenkins said it was a natural growth in his fight for social justice.

“Over the years, I have engaged in social justice issues, such as criminal justice reform, trying to overcome barriers for marginalized communities,” Jenkins said in an interview with The Tribune. “If we are to have an impact on people’s lives, people need to be able to earn money and get rich to break the cycle of poverty.

Parkway Northwest High School was chosen because of its 99% graduation rate. In addition, students spend an average of $ 10,000 in college scholarships and have been cited by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf for their civic engagement.

Initial deposits of $ 40 remain locked in until students turn 18. Ogontz Avenue Revitalization Corp. added $ 10 to each account, for a total of $ 50 per student. The money is placed in an account with the Goalsetter Foundation, a New York-based group that promotes financial literacy for underserved communities of color.

Several other groups promote financial literacy among traditionally underserved communities, such as youth and people of color.

For example, Fidelity Investments is reporting strong interest in its Fidelity Youth account, with tens of thousands of account openings since its inception in May.

For its part, Fidelity said it was the industry’s first retail brokerage account with all the savings, spending and investment decisions made by savers ages 13 to 17. These accounts can only be opened by parents who already have Fidelity accounts.

“This is a perfect example of how receptive we are to new and younger investors,” said Nicole Goodnow, spokesperson for Fidelity Investments. “This year has generated more interest in investing. We want to help them learn.

For example, Fidelity offers educational articles and videos on financial literacy available on its website and social media platforms.

“Our hope is that we have better educated and better informed investors,” Goodnow said. “It should help them start a conversation about money.”

To begin with, adolescent investors must co-open an account with their parents or guardians. Then the parent or guardians must transfer the property to their teenager.

Other brokerage firms have custody accounts for minors, but parents have full control over them.

Parents or guardians can monitor accounts through alerts on their smartphones.

“This is your opportunity to get your child to think about the money, earn it and invest it,” said Ivanhoe Smith, managing partner of Coral Island Investments in Philadelphia. “It’s a great program. But you (account holders) need to do your homework. Every child should be financially literate, and black children are no different. “

Critics of the Fidelity Youth account say it should be open to parents or guardians who are not clients of Fidelity. In addition, young investors in these accounts are responsible for any income taxes or fees associated with a particular investment. If account holders cannot pay, their parents or guardians are held responsible. For parents or guardians looking for more control, this account is not for them. They cannot, for example, set any spending limit for the account holder.

Meanwhile, in West Philadelphia, Bridges to Wealth is a University of Pennsylvania program that teaches financial literacy to community groups and churches. Founded in 2012 by two Penn professors, the goal of the program is to increase the wealth of families living in underserved neighborhoods.

Bridges to Wealth has approximately 2,000 community investors who contribute approximately $ 10 every two weeks. The group invests approximately $ 200,000 per year in low cost mutual funds. Most investors are people of color and about 75% are women.

Bridges to Wealth works with organizations such as the People’s Emergency Center in West Philadelphia. The center provides housing, vocational training, early childhood education and financial education to families and youth experiencing homelessness.

Since 2012, the Malcolm Jenkins Foundation has worked to improve graduation rates, college eligibility and enrollment in underserved communities through its Project REWARDS program in partnership with College Track. The foundation rewards students seeking higher education with scholarships from Malcolm Jenkins Scholars.

To date, over $ 175,000 in scholarships have been awarded, providing financial assistance for books, supplies and other expenses. In addition, the Malcolm Jenkins Foundation funded university visits, career exhibition workshops and professional networking.