Girl scouts tackle financial concepts

Girl ScoutsScores of young girls in 10 different cities across the nation took the first step towards tackling their financial futures under the direction of millionaire women CEOs and entrepreneurs. The second annual “On the Way to Pay Day” event hosted by Sam’s Club and sponsored by the Women Presidents’ Organization and YOUTHpreneur, brought Girl Scout groups together to play the Pay Day game and learn important financial concepts. Over the next hour and a half each girl, from ages 6 to 12, would learn concepts such as a budget, balance sheet and investments – financial concepts many adults today can’t identify. The Pay Day games and YOUTHpreneur business tools each girl received were donated by Sharon Lechter, the founder of YOUTHpreneur, a member of the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy and a WPO national board member. “This wonderful event allows young women to learn first-hand from successful women business owners and entrepreneurs,” said Lechter. The YOUTHpreneur lessons learned will help the girls to tackle their financial future for years to come. Parents value lessons learnedannual “On the Way to Pay Day” event At the Sam’s Club on Pecos Road in Las Vegas, a city known world-wide for its excess spending and luxurious living, 18 girls sat down to play the pay day game and learn YOUTHpreneur lessons. The concepts hit home with the parents of Girls Scout Troop 328. “Any time you can get a group of girls involved in a game where they can learn an important life lesson is just great,” said Lisa Alrick. Alrick’s daughter Taylor, 6, had generated the most income at her table. Many of the parents found the lessons their daughter’s learned especially important in the wake of the credit bubble burst. “Obviously, with the state of the economy right now, this is the sort of education a lot of people should have gotten when they were children as well,” said Alrick. The lessons learned through the YOUTHpreneur program aren’t taught in schools anymore, something that might have helped our financial crisis. “The game gives the girls the opportunity to learn skills not out there,” said Christie Chang, assistant scout leader. Chang had two daughters at the event, LeAnn, 9, and Jasmine, 5. “They don’t get this anywhere else. There just isn’t this kind of financial exposure between school and home.” The event’s success was a combination of real world lessons taught by the WPO mentors and the game’s ability to teach financial concepts in a fun and easy to understand manner. “Learning is about playing at this age, so if you can incorporate the two it’s something they will carry with them,” said Alrick. Becoming YOUTHpreneurs The girls of Troop 328 made some startling revelations that will help them become financially independent and free throughout their lives. Girls Scout Troop 328“Sometimes if we spend money, we get money back,” said nine-year-old Kai. Kai, one of 18 girls participating in the YOUTHpreneur event in Las Vegas, hit upon a financial concept in a half hour that a vast majority of Americans don’t learn throughout their entire lives. “We get more money if we buy [businesses],” added 8-year-old LeAnn. While the concept LeAnn noted – investing – might not be universally applicable in every financial situation, it certainly has got the girls thinking about ideas that they might not have otherwise. Money management was a key lesson the WPO mentors passed on to the girls – how it’s spent, earned and the benefits of passive income from assets. The benefits and importance of giving to charity and collaborating with others were also experienced by the girls. At Sam’s Club, the girls talked about financial lessons Americans should take to heart while they examine their own finances. “You learn how you earn money and how you lost money,” said Victoria, 8. “You just can’t spend money on useless stuff.”

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