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Non-profit educates Wisconsin students on financial literacy
MILWAUKEE - Wisconsin is not top of the class when teaching students financial literacy in schools.
A recent report gave the state a 'C.'
But one non-profit is proving it has the formula to help raise the bar to money empowerment.
It's called Make A Difference Wisconsin.
The group targets juniors and seniors across the state, like those at Alexander Hamilton High School.
The program uses a curriculum of hands-on activities to teach them it pays to be money smart.
"One student recently has said that without this information, it's like going into war without a gun," said program manager Desiree Cocroft.
Over eight years, the organization has empowered 35,000 students at 75 schools with its financial literacy program.
Hundreds of community volunteers teach the six-week course. It covers budgeting and saving, how to open a bank account and the credit score.
"Nowadays, teenagers don't think about saving," said senior Michael Chang. "They just think about using their money on whatever they see is popular."
And some students are even schooling their parents on identity theft.
"How people can steal it off the internet using websites that look real, but it's not a real thing," said Derrick Benton, senior.
"Making healthy financial choices is so key," said Laura Barry, volunteer instructor. "So, as these kids start to grasp these ideas and concepts and you see that light go on, you know they're on their way to a good path."
A path toward achieving dreams and organizers hope to inspire more change as they strive to reach every student in the state.
If you're interested in starting the financial literacy program at your school, just contact Make A Difference Wisconsin at (414) 273- 8101.