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The Need for Strategic Partnerships to Enhance Financial Literacy in Youth

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By Darnell Head, General Manager Education, Goalsetter
June 17, 2024

In today's rapidly evolving financial landscape, the importance of financial education cannot be overstated. As we strive to create a more financially inclusive society, the need for strategic partnerships between fintech companies, credit unions, and school systems becomes increasingly apparent. These collaborations are essential in meeting financial education mandates and equipping families with the knowledge and tools needed to foster happy, healthy, and financially resilient communities.

Like most habits, learning how to successfully handle our finances is a critical skill that needs to be cultivated from a young age. According to the Are You Financially Smarter Than a 12th Grader? report, the average Ivy League college student in the United States scores only 48% on financial literacy tests. This concerning statistic underscores the necessity of educating our youth before they reach college and potentially start their adult lives with significant debt. By instilling strong financial habits early on, we can set students on a path to financial independence and success.

Leveraging School Systems for Broader Impact

Recently, New York City Public Schools District 18 (D18), in partnership with the Goalsetter Foundation, launched a financial education initiative that included over 500 students across seven schools. After one semester, the results were outstanding, with students demonstrating 80% mastery and 30% growth in personal finance standards and objectives. The program will now be expanded to more students in the 2024-25 school year.

Partnerships like these are a great opportunity for credit unions to deepen their relationship with their community and make a significant impact by investing in the financial education of young people. The success of the D18 program demonstrates the potential for similar initiatives to transform the financial literacy landscape nationwide and build healthier financial futures for their members.

Integrating financial education into the K-12 curriculum is crucial for broadening the reach and impact of these academic and social initiatives. School systems are uniquely positioned to deliver consistent and comprehensive financial education to students. By partnering with fintech companies and credit unions, schools can access a wealth of resources and expertise that can enhance their financial education programs and offer a comprehensive solution to the financial literacy crisis.

As community-based and -focused organizations, credit unions have the unique opportunity to create a robust financial literacy framework that equips our youth with the knowledge and skills they need to navigate their financial futures confidently. Success stories like the one at D18 can provide a blueprint for how these collaborations can be both impactful and transformative.

More importantly, they are the key to ensuring that every child, regardless of background, has the opportunity to gain critical financial knowledge and become capable of making informed financial decisions that will benefit them for a lifetime. Together, fintech, credit unions, and schools can create happy and healthy families, fostering a more financially secure future for all.

Connect with Goalsetter to learn more.

About Goalsetter

Founded by Tanya Van Court in 2016, Goalsetter is an education-first family finance and technology platform offering credit unions a 360° solution for reaching their next generation of members. A former Nickelodeon and Discovery Education executive, Tanya had a long career trajectory in creating digital products, but it wasn't until her 8-year-old daughter asked for an investment account and a bike for her ninth birthday that she realized her true calling. In that moment, she knew if she could get every kid in America to become a saver and investor instead of a consumer, she could change the world. And so, Goalsetter was born.