Financial empowerment is the name we've given to all of our efforts to provide people with the tools, knowledge and access they need to be successful. Real happiness in life may have little to do with money, but having the ability to earn a living, to manage finances responsibly, and to save income for future goals can help considerably.
Many of our financial empowerment programs are targeted at youth because it's crucial to expose young people to financial lessons early and to reinforce sound principles as they grow. Our programs and partnerships have been developed for students in fifth, eighth, and eleventh grades—school years in which they are likely to have a proficiency test.
Young Bankers Club
The Young Bankers Club (YBC) is our financial education curriculum for fifth-grade students. It teaches the fundamentals: what money is, how it's earned and how it's used. More than 7,000 students have graduated from YBC since 2004.
In 2012, we upgraded and evolved the curriculum. The completely new program meets national and state standards in mathematics, encourages expanded adoption of the program by enabling greater teacher flexibility, and includes activities like a video game challenge to reach kids at their grade level. Lessons include: Money Basics, Money Matters, Spending Money, Budgeting, Personal Banking, Credit Cards and Interest, Investments, and Starting Your Own Business.
As students complete the program, they are able, among other things, to explore various careers and how much income they can earn, create budgets and study spending, and learn the basics of the stock market and entrepreneurship. We expect to educate 3,000 students in 2013.