Real Money, Real Experts

Empowering our Youth through Financial Literacy & Education with Laura Levine

April 12, 2022 AFCPE® Season 2 Episode 7
Real Money, Real Experts
Empowering our Youth through Financial Literacy & Education with Laura Levine
Show Notes Transcript

To kick off Financial Literacy Month, our hosts Rachael DeLeon and Dr. Mary Bell Carlson speak with President and CEO of the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy, Laura Levine. Laura shares the ins and outs of her own career journey and provides listeners with ideas on how to get involved with youth financial education and the coalition’s work.

Laura is a fierce advocate for financial education and she is passionate about better equipping our youth with the knowledge they need to thrive. Tune in as she shares resources and actionable steps we can all take to provide the schools in our community with more financial education.


Show Notes:
2:20 Laura's Career Journey to Today
4:50 All about Jump$tart and its history
10:35 Getting involved with the coalition and where to start
14:02 Making a bigger impact with the state coalition
18:18 AFCPE's impact as a Jump$tart board member
20:26 Getting involved as an organization at the state level
21:41 Current state of financial education in schools
27:59  Laura's final two cents

Show Note Links:
Email Laura
Connect on LinkedIn
Jump$tart Website/Instagram/Facebook/Twitter
Laura’s Twitter
Laura’s LinkedIn page
Project Groundswell / Check Your School for Financial Literacy:
Jump$tart State Coalitions
Jump$tart Clearing House
Council for Economic Education’s Survey of the States:
Join the Membership community
AFCPE Connections Fair: Gain Experience. Find a Job. April 28  

Speaker 1:

Welcome to real money, real experts, a podcast we're leading financial counseling and coaching experts share their stories, their challenges, and their advice for helping people manage money and the real world. I'm your host, Rachel da own interim executive director of the association for financial counseling and planning education or AF F C P

Speaker 2:

E . And I'm your co-host Dr. Mary Bell Carlson, an accredited financial counselor or AFC , and the CEO of Carlson consulting. Every episode, we're taking a deep dive into the topics that personal finance professionals care about helping clients, building community in your professional growth. Today, we are excited to welcome a very special guest of the show, the president and CEO of the jumpstart coalition for personal financial literacy, a Washington DC based nonprofit organization that is committed to financial smarts for students. Laura Levine has devoted her career to helping people of all just better understand financial services through marketing and outreach communications and education. Laura joined jumpstart in 2004 as the executive director and under her leadership jumpstart has launched the jumpstart national educator conference, jumpstart financial foundations for educators project grounds. Well , and check your school. Laura has also guided the expansion of financial literacy for youth month to the broader financial literacy month, which is also sometimes called national financial capability month, which is still observed today while growing the coalition at both the state and national levels . She has led the enhancement of legacy programs, including star clearinghouse and national standards in K through 12 personal finance education. Laura does not consider herself a financial expert, but rather a staunch advocate for financial education and information. And she hopes she's raising a financially literate son. Welcome Laura to the podcast.

Speaker 3:

Thank you, Mary. And Rachel, it is , uh , really a pleasure to join you. This is a lot of fun. So thank you for having me.

Speaker 1:

Absolutely. Laura, we're so excited to have you on the show, especially with April being financial literacy month, but before we dive into your work with jumpstart, I was hoping we could look back a couple years over the last couple months we've been doing a podcast, a series on careers in the personal finance space . Would you mind telling us a little bit about your own leadership story and what led you to jumpstart in the work you're doing today?

Speaker 3:

Sure, I'd be happy to. And I think that , uh , my story like the , uh , story of so many nonprofit leaders is that it wasn't the path that I started it out on. Mm-hmm <affirmative> . And so my background is actually in communications. I was a journalist, I did , uh , communications at places like FINRA , uh , back when it was the N E S D. And so my background comes from , uh , being a communicator within the financial services field, and I just sort of wound up there. So I spent a lot of my early career writing about finance and financial topics in a way, you know, to , to make it accessible to consumers. So it wasn't a huge leap when I sort of, you know, veered off to financial education, which has a lot of similarities. It's it is, you know, more specifically teaching , uh , rather than just, you know, writing about it, but it it's , it's a lot of the same thing is how do we help consumers? And especially how do we help students , uh , better understand financial topics? And so I was at FINRA when , uh , and with just the parent of course of NASDAQ, and I was asked to take over the NASDAQ educational foundation temporarily. They said temporarily <laugh> . And after a number of months there in this temporary position, I asked when they were gonna fill the , the , the vacancy. And they said, oh, we were hoping you didn't notice that you were just , they said we haven't posted the job. Why don't you just stay? So I , I did. And so that's where I was just before jumpstart. I was the director of the NASDAQ educational foundation and was recruited to come to jumpstart when my predecessor Darra duge left. So, and, and that was now coming up on 18 years ago.

Speaker 2:

Oh, Laura, I love that story because I just realized , in fact, I'm sitting here listening like 18 years, I've known this. And then I realized I met you one year into your presidency. Yes . I had just finished my graduate work at Texas tech. And I literally came out to Washington DC with two contacts. It was Jerry Mason in yourself. Mm-hmm <affirmative> Uhhuh <affirmative> and that's the only people I knew. And I remember sitting down in that conversation, which felt like yesterday, but we realized it's almost two decades ago now, but just, you were such a breath of light and excitement and jumpstart had just started. So tell us a little bit more about jumpstart and the history you have jumpstart in the coalition.

Speaker 3:

It was my pleasure. And I remember that too, Mary, I , I , I do. And, and I think it was , uh , that Jerry was the one who connected us.

Speaker 2:

He was. Yep .

Speaker 3:

Yeah. So, yeah, jumpstart was originally formed in 1995 informally. That was, was the, the first gathering of the coalition. And , and it really started from a group of organizations, many of the ones that are still partners. Now that said, look, there are a lot of us are trying to do something in this financial education space. Wouldn't it be better if we kind of shared and talked about what each of us is doing to see where there's overlaps, where there's gaps, how can we each other ? And so from there, the nature of the coalition was built. The coalition is credited to bill OUM, you know, and , and people who have attended our awards events know that we have the OUM award is our visionary leadership award, because it was his vision to form a coalition to address the financial literacy issue. And the other thing that I think is, is interesting that some people don't know, people know that we have a clearing house , but really the clearing house was the first product that jumpstart was built on rose banister, who was the director of the national Institute of consumer education at Eastern Michigan university said, we have this database of stuff. Can you use it? And can you spread it? And so that became both the start of the jumpstart clearinghouse and jumpstarts first real product. And it was 25, almost 26 years ago. What we focus our efforts on is we now say communication, collaboration and support for effectiveness in financial education. So communication is, we are the financial literacy cheerleader. We tell the story, we , we try to wave our arms and get attention. And so we like to think of ourselves as you know, the mouthpiece for financial literacy on behalf of the many, many partners that we have collaboration is that , uh , we are built on a spirit of working together. That was , that was how we were founded. And so the other role that we, we like to play is to bring the community together and try to foster , uh , collaboration, not just between partners and jumpstart, but partners and each other and partners and educators. And so we believe in the collaborative approach. And then everything else we do is jumpstart itself is not an educator. What we try to do is those activities that support education, and very specifically support effectiveness in financial education. So the standards, the clearinghouse resources, teacher training, the many things that we think make financial education work.

Speaker 1:

Laura, that's so great. And I , I love what you say about collaboration too, cuz I think that's something that's been really special for us to be a part of the board is just the relationships that we've built with so many other people on the field rather than of reinventing the wheel. How do we work together to make programs and processes more effective, whether it's in schools or in the organizations that support schools.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, thank you for saying that. And, and you know, and it's one of the things that, that we just love. And so, you know, as I mentioned, we have had a , a , a very long relationship with a F C P E and, and you know, I , I , I said, I've , I've now been with jumpstart coming up on 18 years and FFC P was already represented on our board then. So I think , uh , you know, you've been with us , uh , really just about since the beginning. And we love the opportunity to work with our partners and have our partners work with each other. And we're also really proud of the fact that we have and strive to have organizational diversity. So we have partners from financial services and from nonprofits and associations and from academia and from government. So, you know, there's a lot of talk about diversity and inclusion these days. And so jumpstart as a coalition of organizations, we really like to uphold diversity among the types of organizations that , uh , participate

Speaker 2:

Laura help listeners understand too . Jumpstarts real focus is the K through 12 at education space. Has it expanded beyond that?

Speaker 3:

Our focus is actually we say preschool through college age, so a little broader than K12, but still very youth focused. And, and that is really where jump starts , started and remains our focus and really remains our , our niche in the broader financial literacy field. But we recognize that a lot of our partners that serve audiences beyond, you know, just students or in fact, some that don't even serve students at all can still use jumpstart as a way of connecting with other organizations that share similar missions or similar beliefs, certainly similar values in the importance of financial literacy. And so while we do focus on students and , and you'll see in, you know, our logo , uh , the tagline is financial smarts for students. And so that, that will always remain our focus, but not our exclusive target.

Speaker 1:

So many of our listeners are really passion about the value of financial literacy education. Although many don't work directly in the K through 12 space, but what's unique about our professionals while they work in financial education, counseling, coaching planning, many are also parents. And so they are really passionate about financial education, especially starting at a young age. What would you say to someone listening today? How can they get more involved with the coalition? Where should they start?

Speaker 3:

First of all, what, what is important about what you said Rachel, is, is that many of your members and in , you know, your field , uh , they are also parents, grandparents, guardians, maybe, you know, aunts and uncles and the , but in their personal life, you know, have a responsibility for young people. And so our project groundswell and check your school campaign is based on getting more financial education in more schools across the country. And the way that we wanna do this, our strategy is have parents and guardians and grandparents and other family members help us make the ask so that everyone isn't responsible for getting it into every school. We want individuals just to focus on their school, so where , whether it's their personal school or their kids' school, or, you know, so we wanna go big by starting small and financial professionals. Like the counselors that you work with , um, have sort of that double whammy is that they're invested in their own kids and their own kids' schools, but they also bring that financial expertise and perspective to make them a passionate advocate and to make them a credible advocate. Because, you know, we, we hear all the time from schools that parents are still the loudest voice in affecting change in schools. We don't always feel it, but, but that's what they tell us. If a parent who also is a financial profile makes the case and helps us make the case to bring personal finance education into their own kids' schools. That's really a powerful message. And so one of the things that we, we hope that your listeners will will consider is you could go to the check your school site and it's, it is just check your school.org and look up to see what we know about financial education at your own child's school. And there is also a function where you can send an email to the principal at your child's school. That is we , we offer you a prewritten email, or you could just write one yourself, but we're asking people, help us make the ask , uh , because to get other, I think we could make a lot of noise,

Speaker 2:

Laura. This is awesome. I , every time I talk to you, I learn so much more, cuz there's just so much happening in this field. And I think that going back to what you said earlier, this collaboration mentality allows it to grow so rapidly in just a few years. And so it's amazing to hear all of the wonderful work that is taking place. Well,

Speaker 3:

Thank you. But you know, I , I think that what's important about jumpstart is we often say that coalition partners, you know, jumpstarts partners don't belong to the coalition. They are the coalition, you know, because that's what a coalition is. It is a group of, of many organizations or, or entities , uh , that are working to together. And so I think that, you know, while , uh , well , it's very nice to <laugh> to hear you give credit to jumpstart jumpstart, isn't one organization we're we're many. And so it is all the field and , and what we're all doing collectively. And I think that's, what's moving the needle.

Speaker 1:

I love the direct action that you give listeners to take today. I think that's some thing everyone listening can do is visit, check your school and think about what's that small impact you can make in your local community or in your local school. I'm curious, I know jumpstart also has some state coalitions. Is there any advice for our financial professionals who may want to, you know, have a bigger impact? Where would they begin with following up with the state coalition ?

Speaker 3:

Jumpstart has a network of independent affiliated state coalition. So each of our state coalitions is an independent entity, but they're affiliated with us and we provide some support and some commonality, but most of our state coalitions are operated either entirely or predominantly with volunteers. So your members and your listeners who are saying, Hey, what can I do? I would encourage them to go to the jumpstart state coalition. They're not all called jumpstarts, but the jumpstart affiliate in their own state and start there. And it is an opportunity to not only participate, but also to network with other folks in your area, you know, that share the same ideas that you do. And sometimes it's just encouraging to get to talk to someone who, you know, will nod their head in agreement and say, yes, yes, that's, that's the right thing. And so the way to find our state coalitions is on jumpstarts website. So our website is jumpstart.org, and you go to our state coalition map and you just click on your state, you find it on, you know, the map of the us and, and you click and it'll take you to the website of the local state coalition. And I encourage you to do it through our site because as I mentioned, most of them called jumpstart, the state jumpstart coalition, but a few of them aren't. And so if you're not sure how to find it, you know, you can find them through our website and it'll take you directly to the , the state website. We have a couple of places where we don't have an active coalition right now. And so if anyone is interested, definitely call the national office and we will either find you someplace or, you know, the other thing about being a coalition is we very much would like for you to be involved with us, but we would love for you to be involved with other coalition partners. And so on our website, there's some of our partners that look for volunteer. We try to post that there so that if a financial professional says, Hey, I wanna give back, but I'm looking for other things to do. There are some other jumpstart partners that want other volunteers. So there's a lot of ways to get involved and use your expertise to improve financial literacy and especially for kids.

Speaker 2:

That's awesome. I love how many opportunities there are to get involved at varying levels, with jumpstart and with the work you're doing. In fact, that's the next segment that I wanna go into is you have a lot of resources. You mentioned the educators clearing house at the beginning, and I'd like to delve more into that. How can our financial coaches and counselors use this educators clearinghouse in their work?

Speaker 3:

Oh, that's a , a wonderful question. So the , the clearinghouse is, you know, the , the website is just jumpstart, clearinghouse.org. Uh , you can also get to it from our main website and you can search the clearinghouse for various resources, search by type search by audience. And so most of it is school based or student focus where it is , um , elementary school, middle school, high school, post secondary, but we have resources for adults, you know? And so you can go to the clearinghouse, you can search by audience segment, you can search by top pick. So if you're just looking for a lesson on credit or on budgeting, you could, you could search that way. Maybe you're looking for a full curriculum, or maybe you are just looking for a video or a game. So there's a lot of ways to search the many resources that are available. And I think that I would also add that if any of your audience are resource providers, either as individuals or, or through their organization, if you have resources that you would like to make available, you can submit your resources for listing in the wing house . And you'll see that link on the clearinghouse site as well. Uh , just a little online form where you tell us about the resource and give us a sample. And , uh , we'll take it from there.

Speaker 1:

Laura , as you've mentioned, a F C P E has been a strong board member for decades, you know, we've been very active in jumpstarts board and we've gained a lot of value in participating in the board. Can you, you help our listeners understand what a F C P E has provided to the board. And maybe even beyond that, how, you know, what kind of organizations you're looking for to, to get involved with that board?

Speaker 3:

So in general, you know, we look for partner organizations , uh , the jumpstart board actually elects organizations rather than individuals to our board. So it is a F C P E as an organization that holds a seat on our board and then designates a representative to come and , and be the person who serves on the board. And so what we look for as I mentioned, you know, organizational diversity. So as we are addressing jumpstarts issues and financial literacy issues, we like having a variety of a representation on our board. So, so it's, you know, the nonprofits, it's the for profits. And then also within finance, we like having people from credit, people from banking, people from investing insurance. And so we look to have that diverse representation on our board and a F C P E has been a wonderful partner and, and board member. My specific example is, you know, we talked a little bit about teacher training. You know, we have an annual national educators conference. And one of the things that we did for a few years was we did many counseling sessions. And so a C P E provided volunteers from your membership that came as a pre-conference in a post-conference activity where your volunteers sat with teachers and did little mini counseling sessions with them as individual consumers. So aside from being a teacher, you know, our , our teachers , uh , you know, their , their consumers and , and sometimes they brought their spa else or domestic partner for that segment, you know, they , uh , and , and sat there and, and had counseling. And so these are some of the ways that partners and, and specifically one of the ways that a F C P E helps support what our teachers do.

Speaker 2:

So that is that the national level, if someone is in a state and wants to become a partner or get involved, you mentioned how to get involved as an individual, how do they get involved as a corporation or an organization at the state level?

Speaker 3:

So, interestingly mm-hmm , <affirmative> , that's a really good question is that our state coalitions are independent organizations. And so they are affiliated with us. It's , it's more like a franchise model, you know, how a lot of franchise stores are independently owned and operated mm-hmm <affirmative> , but they share branding and, and , you know, kind of , uh , they're all rowing in the same direction. Well, that's sort of what we do with our states. And I mentioned that by way of saying that each of our state coalitions has its own board and bylaws. And so the answer to that, fortunately, and unfortunately, it's , it just makes it not as easy is that it , it may differ from one to the next. So usually what we encourage people to do is start on that coalition's website so that the individual or organization can find out what the circumstances in, you know, in their state and start with the leadership there,

Speaker 2:

It's almost like your state government versus the national government start local. And then as you're getting involved locally, it will also raise opportunities at a national level to you.

Speaker 1:

Laura, tell us a little bit more about financial educations in schools right now, or dare I say, at the lack thereof, I'm curious about the trends and what you're seeing,

Speaker 3:

Actually, the council for economic education is the one that tracks progress in terms of, you know, through their survey of the states, how many states are requiring financial education now, but the thing about that is that it maybe doesn't tell the whole story in that it , it , it tracks where it's required, but not necessarily where it's taught. And so, and it's very hard to pick up all the places where it's just being taught and integrated , uh , voluntarily. But even as the survey is showing progress in growth in the number of states that make this a requirement, we're also looking to integrate financial education at all grade levels. Um, certainly a at the elementary school level, it would be very basic, but this is when kids are forming their habits and their beliefs. So why not introduce money as a topic and, and introduce, you know, some sound habits at that time in their life when they're developing so that by the time they get to middle school and high school, and they can take a real course in finance, they are already have a head start . So that's one of the reasons why we've made our check your school campaign a top priority is because we really believe in financial education in schools and at all grade levels recently, you know, this has been what jumpstart believes is our contribution to the financial inclusion effort. Because if you think about less advantaged communities, students that are in less advantaged communities, generally speaking, have less opportunity to learn about personal finance at home, perhaps, you know, their own parents or family environment, they might be unbanked or underbanked. So they might have less experience in , in financial services. Some kids don't have a family, you know, so there are a lot of reasons why at jumpstart, we believe it's important to start the financial discussion at home, but we can't rely on that. So schools, you know, K through 12 in all neighborhoods and , you know, all shapes and sizes, this is our opportunity to get some of this learning. And some of this information to students who might not be getting at any place else, and hopefully have a positive impact on, you know, their start as adult consumers someday . So we think it's really important. And , and it's why we've put a lot of effort into, you know, professional development for teachers into resources for teachers into, you know, our , our national teacher conference. You know, all of these things is, is to support good financial learning at all grade levels to give all kids, but especially those who maybe need it the most, that head start on their lives.

Speaker 2:

Laura, this is a great discussion. And I'm even thinking, as you mentioned earlier, this can be parents. So parents that are involved can come to the clearing house and be able to download and teach games. I'm actually homeschooling my kindergarten and child right now. And just yesterday, we had, we were learning about pennies, nickels, and dimes, and she came to check out her hot cocoa . And I put that in quotes and she didn't have enough. And I just, and so I said, well, you gotta put that one back. And this one's a little less expensive. And I thought at the moment I was teaching it, it was a very simple lesson , right. But in that moment I was teaching it, it really hit me at five years old. What an impact learning that you can't just walk into a store and get anything you want, that it costs money. And I, I think that those small and simple lessons will reverberate throughout their life . So I agree. You can't start too early that this is, as you mentioned earlier, even pre-K and kindergarten can still learn at this.

Speaker 3:

That's absolutely right, Mary. It is at the time the kids start to show interest in money or, or not even necessarily in money, but show interest in spending. And so , um , a , I did that with my own son when he was little and we used to stop on the way home from school to get a snack at CVS. And I would give him a dollar. What he started to learn was the individual size bags of potato chips.

Speaker 2:

He

Speaker 3:

Could afford that, but he couldn't afford the family size bag. The big

Speaker 2:

One <laugh>

Speaker 3:

Yeah, it's very simple, but they start to catch onto money as a limited commodity. And so, you know, so, so it is like, okay, this is, I know I get my dollar every day , but I know that I can't buy anything. I have my choice, but my choice is within the limit of what I can afford. It seems very, very basic, but we have to remember that our kids are growing up in a very electronic society. They don't see money the way we did growing up, you know, cash money. And so I think , uh , parents sometimes need to be very deliberate about how we introduce some of these exercises. And so even if our kids don't actually spend cash, like my son thinks of cash as his savings strategy. <laugh> because they don't, they , they , they spend everything electronically. Yeah . So he actually takes cash and, and sort of tucks it away. And he says, that's like my savings, because you can't ended online. You can't SP you know, there's . Yeah . So it's his safety. Isn't that interesting that it, it has turned around

Speaker 2:

Well, and I am even thinking on your jumpstart clearinghouse, there are so many resources. In fact, I'm gonna encourage all our listeners to go to the clearing house , no matter whether you're teaching elementary all the way up to college. One of my favorite, and , and I think we're one , the most popular features on here is the stock market game . Yeah. So if you're saying, well, I missed that opportunity when they were five, guess what? There's plenty, more opportunities in junior high, in high school and even beyond. And there's so many resources on here for no matter what age your child is, or if you are an aunt or a loved one or a teacher, this is just the place to go, to get what you need to enhance your curriculum.

Speaker 3:

Thank you. And also that, you know, these aren't jumpstarts resources, these are our partners resources. And so this is where the strength of the coalition I think is, is depicted very well.

Speaker 2:

Laura, this has been a delightful interview. And at the end of each interview, we like to get the guest to cents or biggest takeaways for our listeners. If you had one piece of advice to offer our financial professionals, what would it be?

Speaker 3:

I am not a financial expert myself or , or, you know, I certainly that , that isn't where my expertise , uh , lies. So I'm not sure that I would have , uh , advice for your membership, but as a one of the things is that I , I think we have to remember that when we're teaching finance to young kids, we have to remember that you don't learn everything in one shot. And so the analogy that I sometimes use is when you were teaching your kid, how to ride a two wheel bike, if they fell off the bike, you didn't give you didn't, you know, throw away the bike and say, well, this doesn't work right. You , you dust them off and you put 'em back on and you used to try again, well , personal finance is like that. So for all the parents that maybe are starting their kids on allowance, or are starting some sort of an exercise that might help them say , or learn to spend wisely or anything, if they make mistakes in the beginning, it's not a failure. And so , uh , my, what I hope is that your listeners , uh , you know, in their parent grandparent role will remember that they have a lot of expertise to pass along to the kids in their lives, but experts, they're going to have to allow whoever they're teaching and that's whether it's a kid or, or maybe it's a client, you know, but that, that we have to allow for mistakes because not everyone gets on a bike and rides away the first time that they're on. Thank

Speaker 1:

You so much for being on the show today. Can you tell our listeners where they can connect with you?

Speaker 3:

Thank you so very much for having me. And this has been a ton of fun. And so you can find jumpstart@jumpstart.org. That's our main website and my contact information. And all of my colleagues are right there on that site. Our social media, both for Facebook and Twitter is at national jumpstart, which is at N a T L J U M P S T a R T. And my Twitter handle is just L Levine .

Speaker 2:

Laura , this is fantastic. Thanks for being on today. Thank

Speaker 3:

You so much for having me. It is been a pleasure, a great to speak to you both and have a , a happy financial literacy month.

Speaker 2:

Rachel. It is really fun to talk to Laura. Again, she was really an influence in my life very early, early on in my career and has been throughout. It's wonderful to connect back with her and just see the growth. The thing I like about Laura is we are able to channel this passion that we have for teaching financial literacy and teaching financial education and work together, as she mentioned so many times as a coalition, that it's not just you on your own. I remember coming out here to DC and thinking I'm gonna change the world through financial education. Well , little did I know once I talked to Laura Levine , I realized there's a whole commute out there that is teaching financial education and trying to change the world through that. So if you are listening to this podcast now and have a desire to be involved, this is the place to really get started. And it has been such a highlight and enjoyment to be able to talk to her a couple of things that I really enjoyed taking a career framework from it is she started as a journalist. She was a marketer and a communications expert. And the thing I love about that is that it's really important that you know how to communicate these messages, that you know, how to encourage people and write about it and talk about it in order to get people behind it and move the needle forward, I guess, in lots of ways. So I would say anyone listening to this podcast, you don't have to be a financial expert to be a part of this field that you can come in from psychology or marketing or communications or any place , and actually be quite successful in bring us together and working through some of needs as a field. The other thing that I really liked learning about was the clearing house . And I know I mentioned it before, but I will emphasize again, just on our call. I was astounded with how much there is. So whether you're a homeschool parent, whether your kids are in public school, private school, secondary school, it does not matter . There is so many resources. You can encourage the teachers to do it. The other thing I would say, too, even if you're a parent volunteer at a local school, you can use this information to go in and help. What we've seen a lot in the past is sometimes teachers are reluctant to teach personal finance because they don't feel that they know enough about it to be able to teach the students. So if you're thinking, Hey, I'd really like to get involved with my child school or something. Then maybe you're the one that goes in and teaches it. How can you become more involved at your local level, whether it's your community or even your state. That was the final thought for me is I realize I have not reached out to my state yet. And so I, it was a good reminder to me that I need to jump on my , uh , Virginia state board as well and offer to be of help and resource to them. And so I would encourage anyone listening today that if you had any interest to reach out and get involved and see where those connections can lead you and others along the way,

Speaker 1:

Mary, I totally agree . One of the things that really resonated with this conversation early on was her path into this field. And I, I think you're right. I mean, I came into this career path from a ground and communications and marketing as well. And so I really relate to that. And I think a lot of our listeners relate to that. So many people that work in the personal finance space did not start there. We have a lot of career changers that come into this field. A lot of people don't find their passion for personal finance. You know, at 20, 22 years a old, sometimes it's something that happened within their lives that made them realize their why and led them to this career path. The other thing that she talked about was collaboration and jumpstart is really at its heart, their collaborators. I actually, Mary met you for the first time at a jumpstart awards dinner . I don't don't know if you even remember it, but it was ,

Speaker 2:

I do remember that. I can't believe it's been that long.

Speaker 1:

So yeah, I mean, I think a lot of the people that we've met within the field have, have been part of that jumpstart community. And so they hold us a really important place with our community, with it being financial literacy month. That is April. I think so many of the things that she taught talked about today are, you know, whether or not you work in K through 12 education. Most of our listeners probably don't a lot of them have children that are in school or work with clients that have families that these are affecting or work with clients that have money scripts and things that they developed in childhood. So the importance of financial literacy and education in schools is critical. And so, you know, if you do one thing today, I, I say, go to check your school, sign up, really push the importance of financial education in your community. Mary , I loved what you said about, you know, as financial professionals, what can we do in our, our community for our candidates that are going through the AFC program? What a great way, you know, to gain some experience, go into the community , um , and offer the , that financial education. As we move into the end of April. I just also wanted to remind everyone that we are having an a F C P E connections fair. It will be held on April 28th and that whole week will provide different webinars and education opportunities for our members. But on April 28th , we have a number of employers who are offering jobs, also experience hours . If you're looking for an internship or just a way to expand your horizon, you know, check out our website, I'll put that in the show notes, but we hope you attend the a F C P E connections there.

Speaker 2:

If you enjoy the show today, please share it with a friend. This helps others discover the podcast and become a part of our community.

Speaker 1:

Thanks for joining us. We'll see you next time.