When it comes to teaching financial literacy, the Council of Economic Education gives North Carolina high schools a grade B. B grades are given to states that have personal finances embedded in already required courses. In North Carolina’s case this class is Civics and Economics, typically a sophomore level class, with ten topics to cover. Of these ten, only two topics or 20% cover personal finance. Only 5 states have received a Grade A: Alabama, Missouri, Tennessee, Utah and Virginia which incorporates a stand- alone finance course required to graduate.
Jasmine Brown fashion model and swim coach says, “ a B grade is not enough” and believes North Carolina should implement the grade A state requirement. Brown is the founder of FACTS (Finance, Athletic, and Career Training Services). A nonprofit organization dedicated to teaching students financial literacy. A study done by Jump Start Coalition, found that 95% of high school seniors and 75% of college graduates are financially illiterate. Brown believes early financial education is pivotal for adulthood. Last week, I sat down with Jasmine to learn more about FACTS.
What is Facts for Youth?
-FACTS for Youth is a nonprofit organization. It stands for Finance, Athletic, and Career Training Services. It will provide high school students in underserved counties of North Carolina: a financial literacy enrichment program, prepare students for life after graduation and promote healthy lifestyles with the help of current and retired athletes.
Where did your financial knowledge come from?
-My dad is a financial advisor so my first exposure to finances was at home. I used to be quizzed on stock symbols when I was younger. Then at NC State I graduated in 3 in half years with a B.S. in business administration- concentration in finance and a minor in accounting.
What does it take to start a non-profit?
-It takes a lot. It was easier to set up my business than my non- profit. I worked on the plan for my nonprofit for two or three months and had to do a lot of research!! I had to teach myself about bylaws and the 501c application, filing fees and board of directors, the list goes on-and-on!
How did you come up with FACTS?
-Well I coach high school students so I interact with them daily and they ask me questions about all types of things. I realized they didn’t know much about finances and I see this being a constant problem among high school students. I did the research and found out that the requirement for financial literacy in NC is not enough for students to be successful when it comes to making decisions about money. I needed to incorporate the change I wanted to see. I want FACTS to be the first step toward success among these students. With the determination and passion I have, how can I fail?
When will you teach students financial literacy?
-FACTS will host camps in the summer and on Saturday’s teaching financial literacy free of charge. I want to start in North Carolina and expand nationwide.
What high schools do you want FACTS to go to?
-If I could get a FACTS camp in every county of NC I’d be thrilled! I want to start in undeserving communities, that is my main focus.
What are your future goals for FACTS ?
-I want to take FACTS worldwide, build a curriculum for first year student-athletes at the college level, and write a book. I want to do a lot of things, but most importantly, I want to make an impact.
Who is responsible for teaching kids financial literacy?
-This is the question! Some would say it falls on the parents at home. But what if the parents aren’t making financially sound decisions themselves or haven’t had proper financially literacy knowledge? Then would it fall on the schools? I believe there should be a personal finance class required to graduate and I won’t stop pushing that thought until it’s done.
Although many can't agree on where personal financials should be taught, Jasmine is implementing a plan to help students, parents, and high schools everywhere through FACTS.
Solving the lack of financial knowledge and creating future success for high school students.