By: Krystle Crossman
Boston-based OneUnited Bank is trying to do its part to help urban youth from all over the country to learn the importance of reading, writing, and saving money. The bank’s president, Teri Williams, has written a book called “I Got Bank” which is about finances. It is geared towards children and teaches them about saving money and preparing for the future. The bank is currently holding an essay contest for urban youth from ages 8-12. The children will have to read the book and then write a 250-word essay on how they plan on applying the knowledge that they gained from reading the book. Williams says that there is a huge opportunity out there to help the nation’s youth when it comes to finances but they are rarely taught about money at a young age. Three winners will be chosen and they will each win a $1,000 savings account with OneUnited Bank. The deadline to enter the contest is June 15th, 2015 and they will pick the winners on August 15th, 2015.
Williams stated that while there is more financial literature out for kids now than a few years ago there still isn’t enough. They have been running this essay contest every year for the last five years. More banks in the country are becoming involved with financial literacy for children and adults alike. Many hold workshops that teach the participants about saving money, investing it, and budgeting. There are many adults that struggle with this as well, especially in low-income urban areas where jobs with good pay are hard to come by. Budgeting is one of the best lessons that a child can be taught early on as it is something that they will carry on into adulthood instead of struggling first and then try to dig themselves out of debt.
Last year the contest had winners from both ends of the country. The winners were: Chase Abner, 12, from Los Angeles, Amaya Horace, 12, from Bowie, Maryland, and Damoni Swain, 10, from Dorcester, Massachusetts. The three winners all had a similar theme in their essays. They wrote about how they plan to save money that they get and then when they are old enough they will start up a business with it.