KEBRINA CARTER, PARENT
I’ve never been more excited and willing to give public accolades about an organization than I am for World of Money (WoM). I am extremely impressed, overjoyed and appreciative of this organization and its mission. So much so that I did not hesitate to accept the Executive Director’s, Sabrina Lamb, offer to share my thoughts, as a parent, about World of Money (WoM).
I was introduced to the World of Money (WoM) at an educational conference last Nov. Ms. Lamb conducted a workshop showcasing key aspects of WoM’s philosophies which shed light on many adult fears and often unproductive relationships with money. When Sabrina stated the program was geared toward children I was a little reluctant to believe that students as young as 12 could grasp or would be interested in grasping financial concepts that some adults didn’t know. Ms. Lamb and WoM reminded me that our kids are smart and with the proper guidance, they can handle any material we put in front of them. Sabrina also reminded me that if we, as adults, want the next generation to be better financial mangers than we are, we must start teaching them now!
As parents we tend to teach our children the value of general/mainstream education and many other fundamental humanitarian concepts that will make them upstanding citizens, but we often neglect to consciously educate them about the financial lessons we’ve learned. The unconscious lessons we teach our children are obtained as they watch our behaviors and interactions with money. Though watching us, children pick up a variety of negative, unproductive habits, and non-lucrative spending patterns that prohibits them from being better financial stewards than we are.
I realized as a parent that I may not have been doing the best job at articulating personal financial management to my son. As Ms. Lamb often explains to the parents in the WoM program, you can’t fault your kids for asking for too much, spending too much, wanting too much or wasting too much; because they don’t know. They don’t know how expensive things are; they don’t know the household expenses we have to handle before we can think about buying them a new pair of sneakers. They don’t know what it takes to be a good financial manager. This program helps to eradicate the cycle of financial mis-management and provides an introduction as well as a means to help our children become financially successful adults.
For many underprivileged youth and their families, the program helps to break the cycle of poverty, habitual spending and curbs the need for immediate gratification (which prevents many children from understanding the importance of saving for a rainy day and investing for their future). For students and their families that are a little more financially savvy, WoM helps raise the bar of financial accountability and stewardship. WoM is uniquely positioned to shift the financial paradigm for many of the families it touches through the fundamental concepts of learn, earn, save, invest and donate.For all of these reasons, I knew without hesitation, that I was going to register my son to be apart of this program.
Since my introduction to this program, I have ceaselessly sung the praises of WoM to family, friends, co-workers and even strangers. I think I’ve started my own WoM marketing campaign. I’ve sent email blasts and photo narratives of my son’s experiences at WoM. Photos including:
- His trip to DC, where he was able to see where money is literally made as well as the places and people that make decisions about how the nation’s money is used;
- The opening bell ceremony at NASDAQ, which was an amazing and impressive experience. I graduated with a MBA in finance from Fordham University and I wasn’t exposed to such a phenomenal event;
- The real estate tour in Brooklyn, where the students learned so many lessons beyond valuing real estate. They were exposed to history lessons, the value of community/neighborhood involvement and the importance of having a vision! Ms. Jacqui Weekes, our Brooklyn real estate tour guide, is an amazing woman. She shared some of her life lessons and experiences with the youth. She was truly inspirational, informative and passionate about her career. She reinforced many of the lessons the students learned in the WoM training and I would venture to say, she made a profound impact on them.
The students also had an opportunity to practice one of the WoM’s principles, donate. Students donated their time on a Saturday morning to clean-up and beautify neighborhood parks, as well as help the elderly. My son and I had a new experience bonding over dirt, bugs and garbage bags as we cleaned Von King Park in Brooklyn.WoM is truly exemplary in its ability to teaches its core values in a classroom setting and then strategically develops activities/events (such as the ones mentioned above) to re-enforce these values and make them practical.
Not only does WoM provide financial literacy to our youth, which is clearly delineated in its curriculum, but it almost seamlessly instills a since of self-pride, purpose and a host of soft skills kids may not even realize they’re learning. For example, they learn networking, etiquette, manners, dressing for success, grooming, the importance of being on time and the financial consequences that can result when you’re not.
Some parents/guardians may wonder, how the lessons in financial matters will help their child with reading, writing and arithmetic. Not only is reading, writing and mathematics required in the program, but through its financial literacy/career-focused workshops, WoM has developed a unique approach to motivating students to graduate HS and seek higher education. WoM helps students see that education leads to better paying careers and adds meaning to life, in other words, World of Money gives school a purpose for many at-risk students. As a result of participating in WoM, 85% of its students have improved their grades and 90% are now saving for college!
President Obama has charged ever citizen to volunteer, as a means to improve our communities and our country. Volunteerism is a key element in WoM. Students learn the value, need and purpose of giving back. As such, I’m committed to helping WoM carry out its mission to improve the financial literacy of underserved youth and help them economically empower their communities.
In Jim Collins’ book, “Good to Great”, he discusses the elements that move a company from being good to being great. He explains that there isn’t one pivotal moment or one critical act that propels a company from good to great, but it is the small steps that get the wheels of success turning. Greatness happens when an organization (such as WoM) takes one step forward, people (like us) take notice of the positive results and join in to support their efforts. WoM has taken many steps to move the organization and our children into greatness. The students it has graduated from the program are evidence of this. I ask you to take notice and support this organization as it works to support our children.
To Sabrina Lamb and the WoM Board of Directors, on behalf of the WoM parents, thank you for giving our children this phenomenal experience.
Saundra N. Leigh- Plummer RN BSN
Where do I begin? I was told about the World of Money Program late last spring 2011. Once I attended the orientation program and heard you speak, I knew this is where my son needed to be. It was imperative for me to allow him the opportunity to learn from and be among such great professionals in many aspects of business and finances. I must also not forget the wonderful Mandarin immersion that he was exposed to, he doesn’t hesitate to let me know when he recognizes and interprets words spoken by Chinese speaking individuals. My son attended the WOM program 2011 and didn’t I did not hesitate for him to attend 2012 as well. The information he has learned is priceless. He has learned the financial tools to become successful in any future endeavors, which happens to be business and finance for him, thanks to the informative and intelligent presenters he witnessed. We live in Suffolk County, Long Island, so commuting to New York could be daunting, however, the temporary sacrifice was worth every second. World of Money has opened my eyes as well, regarding financial matters and responsibilities. Where would I have learned about a DRIP(dividend re-investment plan), thanks to the WOM Youth Financial Institute, that is a frequently used word in our household. We watch business news cable shows, read the business sections in the newspaper and keep up with interest rates. The day of Community Service was also a great experience to allow Jordan the concept of doing tasks to benefit the enjoyment of others.I tell everyone I know of what a great experience my family has had with World of Money, and they need to learn more about the Youth Financial Institute. I can’t thank you enough for allowing my family to forever be touched by your wonderful organization. I will forever be grateful.
STAN AND JEANINE GARARD – PARENTS
I feel that this World of Money program was incredibly essential for my entire family especially the children. Every evening they came home we discussed the focus of the day they would immediately say “we learned a lot.” When I reviewed the information discussed during the sessions they readily share this knowledge with excitement. I was impressed by the curriculum that was designed and developed with our young people in mind. I know that education about money early in life equips and empowers one to succeed. I particularly liked the demand for excellence through your code of conduct focusing on attire, participation and professionalism. I was impressed by the real estate tour in Brooklyn. The facilitator was empowering and enthusiastic. She embraced the children and their chaperones by engaging us in dialogue that was relevant and motivating.
As a parent I will continue with the idea of earning money through excellence in performance of chores, grades, etc. I will also fine the children when they are repeatedly late or fail to listen. (Thanks that was a good one!) I also like that you have a class for the parents. I feel this allows us to reinforce learning. I have already incorporated some of these “pearls of wisdom” into my financial life. Special Kudos to Ms. Lamb for this program, for the time and effort put towards this great venture. It is our desire to join you next year.
I am glad that I decided to enroll Avery in the World of Money (WoM) summer program. Avery’s exposure to people in the financial world, entrepreneurs and other professionals has served to further broaden his thoughts about money…it also reinforces and validates things I have discussed with him regarding money/finances. It is critical that our children begin to think like millionaires so that becoming one is second nature. The sooner children understand money, the more conscious they become regarding its value, usage and the power it has in this society. Money may not be able to buy you happiness, but it can sure make your life easier! Being wise about your money and understanding that you have to have it affords a sense of freedom that makes life more enriching.
One key thing that Avery now understands is that in order to write checks there has to be money in the bank; there is no invisible person depositing money into your bank account when you’re not looking. His WoM experience was very positive and he is on track to becoming a millionaire by 21!!! I remind him of that all the time; initially he reacted as though that was beyond his reach, but after hearing me say it so much he has adopted it as his own mantra. He may not have mapped out all the details, but he is on the road to riche$. Exposure to WoM has helped him to approach his own personal portfolio – bank account, stock account and money market account – with greater understanding.
During WoM orientation when Avery calculated how much money he could have had by now from saving $2 per day, he responded with a “Wow.” Since that time he has committed to earning his $2 per day and has been quite successful and resourceful in earning it…including charging Grandma to wash her tub. LOL! He used to think having $300 in his account made him rich… he now knows better.Candid discussions about our household expenses have also made him even more conscious of money. Those moments when he gets a little extreme, i.e. eating less to save money on groceries, then I have to reel him in. Communication about money is so important because he is learning lessons at a young age that will be with him for a lifetime.
THANKS for starting such a wonderful organization and setting children (and undoubtedly some parents too!) on the road to financial freedom and RICHE$! The service project was a great component and Avery thoroughly enjoyed it.Be assured that there are younger kids in the family waiting to participate in WoM.
My daughter Olivia has participated in World of Money for two years now. I have to say that her eyes have been opened to a world (pardon the pun) of financial possibilities. It’s funny how a person absorbs information but the more interesting thing to me is when the information turns into application, when merely hearing information becomes translates into a behavior. That is the point at which my daughter is now. She hasn’t yet figured out her next big money break, nor has she started to build a better mouse trap but I know she is thinking about these things more seriously. I know she sees the value in her time when she ensures that she is on time for her activities. I see that she is thinking more carefully on her decision to go to college as to how we will pay for it. When she browses at college applications, I know the questions she asks me have been sparked by something World of Money has made her aware of. Olivia is taking more serious account of not only her money but of the decisions she will make now and in the near future that will affect her more distant future.
And I love it. It brings me joy, especially when she made a comment about the MTA worker who recently won the Mega Million jackpot of $133 million. Mr. Boyce was being interviewed as to what he would do with all his newly won riches. He said he’d like to travel and deep-sea fish, maybe even buy a boat. Olivia wasn’t impressed by what he could spend his $55 million slice of the American pie. She said he should put it in the bank and live off of the interest, “That’s what I would do”. And I knew World of Money was right there with me, beaming just as proudly as I was.
My name is Marie George, the parent of two of your graduating students, Ahmad George and Imani Johnson George.
In the beginning of their experience with (WOM) the list of complaints topped off in numbers. However, as the program progressed, they began to interact with other students and many top players in the financial industry, in which peaked there interest to learn more.
Furthermore, I am extremely proud of Ahmad and Imani for following through, and completing WoM in a financial boot camp approach, to understanding financial life skills for success. I see tremendous progress in the way the view money and the importance of financial planning and preservation.Overall, World of Money did great job of exposing students and parents to building financial wealth, to fully equips our future leaders, for a successful future. Thank You Ms. Lamb, for your time and all your efforts, and for a job well done!
When I first got the chance to become apart of World of Money, immediately, any previous ideas I had about money started changing for the better. My oldest daughter graduated from World of Money and all that she learned, is still with her today. She is now a college student, with her own business typing papers for other students. She also has the NASDAQ information on her home screen on her computer. She has since lost her job with a well known toy company, but manages to maintain the money she has saved while working. She even gives her friends advice about money!
I had the chance to prep my youngest daughter for the World of Money. She was already eager to go, because she remembers the conversations her older sister and I had. Once, she got the chance to go, she immediately started telling me to be careful with money and even sparked quite a few conversations about paying bills. She stopped asking for money, as well, and began to think of ways of how she can earn money. When going to the store to buy something, she would pay more attention to the money she had to “give away” versus the money should would have left over. This helped her make wise choices, whereas she thought twice about whether she needed something or not. We began making shopping lists together and shopped with caution. She has become somewhat of an advocate for the World of Money. She began telling friends that she was going to financial camp and they would ask her what is financial camp? She then, would tell them this long speech about how she learned not to be broke and beg for money. She also, got her friends interested and their parents called me to see how they can get involved. When we would come home on thje same expressway, we used to always see a woman begging for money, on the side of the road. We woud have conversations about the woman standing in all kinds of weather to get money. Audrey used to wonder why the woman would do that on a daily basis. After Audrey started going to the World of Money, and seeing the same woman, she made comments instead of asking questions. She said, “Mommy, what that woman needs to do is get a job, instead of wasting her time, begging for money. She needs to go to school and save up her money, so she doesn’t have to do this anymore. That’s not going to happen to me. I am going to make money and save it, so I don’t have to stand on the side of the road, begging for money. Watching my daughters go through the program made me want to get involved, in which I decided to become further involved in my children’s education on finances, by joining the World of Money Parent Advisory Council.