the catchphrase of giving back to the community is more than just a notion?it’s a reality. As co-founders of a New York City-based non-profit organization that promotes financial education and literacy to young people, Faoye and Thompson are taking a steadfast approach to helping young people implement strategies to effectively manage their money.
According to various reports and studies, the concept of financial illiteracy is linked to socioeconomic and ethnic indicators that permeate in low-income communities.
?There is a dearth of resources dedicated to solving what we deemed to be a financial literacy crises among black and brown students,? says Jelani.
The organization, D.R.E.A.M.? is an acronym for Developing Responsible Economically Advanced Model Citizens, an advocacy group that is committed to empowering the next generation of citizens about the intricacies of financial literacy and socially impacting the community about what it takes to foster positive change in America’s low income and urban communities.
Femi, 27, is a managing partner at Millennial Capital Management in New York. He was raised in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn. Jaleni, 28, is a credit research analyst in public finance and was raised in the South Bronx. Both men are products of a special collegiate-prep program in New York for urban high school students formerly called, I-Lead, now named Liberty LEADS. Among other things, the program provides guidance, mentors and other resources for inner city students in an effort to elevate themselves out of the neighborhood.? ?We encourage parents to be more transparent and inclusive about their financial situations with their children,? says Jelani.
The personal and professional success both men have achieved is, at least in part, due to various community-based organizations that believed in their potential as teens and invested in it.? Similarly, their organization provides initiatives to inner city youth and goes a step farther in advocating financial literacy by fusing practical personal finances and entrepreneurship education with culturally diverse experiences.
?It’s a big stretch for someone to go from a shoe box savings account to investing in a mutual fund or the stock market,? says Femi. ?Our organization teaches young people not to be afraid to learn about the nuances of financial literacy from beginning to end.?? To find out more about the D.R.E.A.M program, visit the organization’s web site.