“It was never a matter of whether or not to give back, but instead how.” D.R.E.A.M. Co-Founder, Jaleni Thompson, struck the hearts of many in his recent Tepper School of Business Summer 2013 Magazine feature. His alma Mater, Carnegie Mellon University, shines the spotlight on his success since his graduation, in 2008. Most notably, the magazine features the scholars of D.R.E.A.M.’s heralded “Invest-in-Success” program.
In an education system that perpetually fails underserved, underrepresented urban youth; in a system where these youth are often starting at a handicap to their peers, Thompson cannot stress enough how vital D.R.E.A.M.’s message is in 2013. Against this stereotype, D.R.E.A.M. creates and nurtures the future leaders and innovators through transformative financial literacy education.
The magazine highlights three scholars: Elias Rosado, Albin Ortiz and Rayvon Dorsett, all high school teens from All Hallows High School in the Bronx, New York. The students discuss how D.R.E.A.M. has impacted their lives and given them new found hope for the future. Their similar high school experiences yet very different passions and career interests, exemplifies how D.R.E.A.M. has utilized financial literacy education as a tool to empower youth in various ways with different long term interests.
Rosado excitedly states that he can read and understand information on finance and economics and questions, “How many kids my age know this information or that it’s important?” Teaching the basic principles of finance is the beginning to D.R.E.A.M.’s central mission that tackles the challenge of closing the wealth gap. As the two Co-Founders, Femi Faoye and Jaleni Thompson, initiated the organization with a focus on urban youth, these three bright students are only a small sample of the living examples that D.R.E.A.M.’s financial education curriculum produces.
Elias, Albin and Rayvon are rising, college bound seniors and will be well prepared to handle the responsibility of managing their own money as college students when they matriculate next Fall. The students shared how they are able to apply the lessons learned in the D.R.E.A.M. classrooms in their real life, a major aim of the curriculum when it was created by Jaleni Thompson and Femi Faoye. “I bring the knowledge into my family, and because of D.R.E.A.M., I’m deciding what to major in when I’m in college, like accounting” states Rayvon and explains simply, “Finance is essential to life”.
"Invest-in-Success" scholars are holistically educated individuals and consumers, as the sessions touch each student in an individual and productive way. The work of D.R.E.A.M. highlights the unlimited potential of urban youth if we are willing to make an investment in their futures.
To read the full magazine article featuring Jaleni Thompson and the "Invest-in-Success" scholars, click here.
About the Author:
Shani Paul is the 2013 Marketing and Public Relations Summer Intern for D.R.E.A.M. She is a rising sophomore at Pomona College in Claremont, California.
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