2020 Grants for Change Winner
$10,000 towards Financial Literacy Enhancement Initiative
Grant Secured by Thomas Watkins
Why did you become involved with this organization?
“REF is the fundraising arm of our chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha, a historically black fraternity founded in 1906. I’ve been a member since 1986, and chairman of the group for the past seven years and, before that, an at-large member. The chapter does a lot of wonderful work, but this is what I’ve most enjoyed because a lot of what I do during the day is in the 403(b)market, helping teachers and educators save for retirement.”
What is the grant for and how will it benefit the community?
The mission of the Rho Education Foundation is to promote scholarship and academic achievement among young men and to provide resources, services and advocacy to the Philadelphia community. With this grant, we will enhance financial literacy for 8-12thgraders of Philadelphia, using a vetted curriculum developed by the National Endowment for Financial Education’s High School Financial Planning program. The lack of financial literacy has been strongly linked to poverty in Philadelphia—which is consistently ranked at the top of the list among the poorest most-populous U.S. cities—disproportionately affecting people of color. Workshops will be delivered to groups organized in partnerships with local schools and out-of-school-time programs that already have captured populations.
Lack of financial literacy is highly correlated to poverty. Statistics show that low levels of financial literacy lead to more borrowing, less wealth, higher levels of debt and an inability to comprehend terms of loans. Our goal is to move from the theory of financial literacy to practical education. We want to change the mindset.