More than a dozen Paterson girls learned the value of a dollar by working with ten PricewaterhouseCoopers, an accountancy, employees last week during Celebrate Girls, a summer camp program, run by the Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey.
The girls, all 9-to-11-year-old, were signed up for the eight week program, run by the girl scouts, to continue learning during the summer months when school is closed. The youth were provided real-life scenarios, where they were first asked what they would like to buy in the future, and taught how to obtain these material goods through sound financial planning.
“We go into classrooms with PwC volunteers, get into small groups with students, and use professionally developed materials — and some personal experiences — to make financial situations real for the kids,” says an employee of PricewaterhouseCoopers, whose employees volunteer their time towards teaching young people about money under the Earn Your Future commitment, a program the company launched in 2012 to address the financial literacy gap in the United States. “A significant commitment to address two critical shortfalls in the US education system: financial literacy among young people and financial training opportunities for educators,” reads the company’s program page.
“I learned a lot about how to budget and plan how to spend my money. I also learned to avoid buying unnecessary things,” said Fatima, one of the campers, to Jamie Watkins, communication manager for the organization. They were not only taught how to make financially sound decisions, such as avoiding the purchase of unnecessary items, but also how to cut back on spending, a necessity to save up for big ticket items like a car or a home. Saving for college was also a subject. These tweens will not be buying a home or a car anytime soon, but both the company and the organization wish to equip them with the basic knowledge of saving and spending only what one has rather than satisfying material wants by going into the red.
“Financial literacy is an important topic that needs to be taught to the nation’s youth. We are grateful for the partnership with PwC, which enables us to provide activities to girls that will teach them skills they will need throughout their lives,” says Betty Garger, chief executive officer of the organization.