Local Students Hone Money Skills Via Medgar Evers College and JP Morgan Chase Financial Wellness Workshops
Back in March, the announcement was made that Medgar Evers College (MEC) was entering into a partnership for a financial literacy program focused on empowering MEC students, faculty, and local youth to achieve financial stability and meet long-term wealth goals. It’s a crucial program Medgar Evers President Patricia Ramsey was delighted to bring to MEC with partners JP Morgan Chase given its potential to be a major game changer for young people of color in the Central Brooklyn community along with their families.
“JP Morgan Chase served as a signature sponsor for our 2022 scholarship gala and we built upon that partnership over that past year, where Chase provides financial literacy workshops to Medgar Evers College students. Knowing the importance of financial literacy in our community, this summer, we partnered with Chase to present financial literacy training to the 1400 students in our summer youth program and their parents. As a culminating event, it was exciting for me to witness the “Shark Tank”-like the pitch of one of the high school youth teams to the Chase team. Being a botanist, I was quite impressed by the plant research that one team shared as background information for their pitch, which involved an investment in their company to enhance the production of crops, in an attempt to help eradicate hunger.”
Workshops for young people participating in the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) that began in June wrapped up in August. The goal was to impact 465 youth between the ages of 14 and 15 and 700 youth between the ages of 16 and 24. The highlight of the summer partnership is that the older youth will be in class with the younger children, supporting and learning from each other during the sessions.
Led by Community Managers Tanisha Ritter, Tabinda Iftikhar, Tayuma Zurita, Natasha Castillo, Regina Ganpat, and Shakima Figuera-Collins, these 18-person workshops focused on topics including YFJ: Goal Setting, Credit, Ban On It, and Check It Out that found participants working on financial projects presented at the Shark Tank-flavored culminating event on August 8. During this time, JP Morgan Chase sent a number of higher-level executives to address the students including senior business consultant Kofi Akyen, financial advisor Dwayne Winter, and Crown Heights branch managers Diedre McGann and Vernie Estwick.
As the JP Morgan Chase Community Banking Executive Director, Nichol King points out how crucial the intergenerational aspect of these workshops is.
“Our approach in this work is that we like to say turn one segment opportunity into multiple ones,” King said. “What we mean by that is educating the kids, but also the parents and even the faculty of the college because we want to impact the entire household. We can come in and talk to students and teach them all we want, but it’s the faculty, parents and guardians in their lives that are going to reinforce what the teen is doing.”
The partnership continues into the fall that will include freshmen workshops, a signature financial health event for the whole college, and Chase branch staff and community managers volunteering to help college students from MEC make small pieces of costumes for the West Indian Day Labor Day Parade. This will also include a partnership with the West Indian American Day Carnival Association who is responsible for the parade.