SEDCorp Creates New Non-Profit to Benefit Youth
The Sierra Economic Development Corporation (SEDCorp), a 41-year-old regional non-profit, continues to bring leadership and expertise to Placer County in innovative ways. SEDCorp has created a companion public benefit non-profit called Economic Partners in Change – “EPIC” – in recognition of the looming problem of having a large number of “baby-boom generation” business leaders leaving the work force over the next ten years and the question of where an adequate number of tomorrow’s business leaders will be found.
SEDCorp believes the solution is found in the promotion of entrepreneurial thinking. However, successful entrepreneurs must build on a solid foundation of financial knowledge. One of EPIC’s launch programs is focused on Youth Financial Literacy, recognizing that most new high school graduates are woefully unprepared for the financial realities of the adult world. Because of their lack of preparation, many of those new high school graduates will quickly find themselves in debt with credit cards and loans for which they were not prepared, beginning a cycle of indebtedness and financial stress that may stay with them throughout their lives. The EPIC Youth Financial Literacy Program (YFLP) is designed to give the students the tools to manage their finances while establishing a foundation for follow-on courses in investing, entrepreneurship and business. The YFLP's purposes are to (1) prepare high school students for their adult financial lives; (2) encourage habitual lifetime saving with a matched-savings program; (3) provide access to affordable financial services through EPIC's companion non-profit, SEDCorp; (4) integrate the YFLP into a program to promote access to and success in post-secondary education; and (5) use YFLP as a foundation upon which to teach entrepreneurship and introduction to business.
The new YFLP course will span the 2010/2011 school year at Placer High School, Auburn, California. It will be part of the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program, a class of thirty-two freshmen and sophomores with demonstrated college potential, but whose parents had little or no post-secondary education. Meeting once a week for approximately an hour, the students will be taught by two college-student instructors who are majoring in business and finance. The YFLP course will cover five basic units of financial literacy: Money Matters, Working with Banks, Debt, The Adult Financial World, and The Next Steps (After High School). The students will create a personal budget and a savings plan, learn about banks and banking products, evaluate credit card offers, develop a resume and participate in mock job interviews. They will also participate in investment and entrepreneurship classes and interactive activities such as mock real estate and stock market investment competitions. Throughout the program, students will be encouraged to participate in a savings program with local banks to encourage the habits of budgeting and saving.
The EPIC YFLP curriculum has been developed from a best-practices distillation of nine highly successful programs and enthusiastically welcomed by the Placer Unified High School District for inclusion in the Placer High School, Auburn, CA, AVID program. Efforts have been initiated to create articulation agreements whereby YFLP students can receive community college credits and community college students participating as YFLP instructors can receive upper-level college credits. More about EPIC can be found at http://www.economicpartnersinchange.org.
Donations to support EPIC’s Youth Financial Literacy Program are greatly appreciated. Sustaining the YFLP could mean bringing a program to a high school near you. Cash, checks and credit cards are accepted. EPIC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, tax identification number 26-2296536. Call 530.823.4703 now to make a tax deductible donation.