Welcome to the third installment of our"$cholar Talk" series. This segment features posts written by Scholars of our "Invest-in-Success" program! It provides a platform for our students to share their experiences, discuss financial topics relevant to teenagers, and provides you a chance to connect with them.
Without further adieu, please welcome our scholar-blogger for the month, Elias Rosado, junior at All Hallows High School, Bronx, NY.
In life there are experiences that you will never forget because they change you. I am only a teenager with a whole lifetime of experiences ahead of me, but my participation as a Scholar in the “Invest-in-Success” program hosted by D.R.E.A.M. has been life changing.
When I first became aware of D.R.E.A.M. and the “Invest-in-Success” program, I was a bit skeptical. I wrongfully assumed that it would be like any of the other Saturday programs that I had previously participated in. I thought I would not enjoy my Saturdays because they would require that I wake up early to attend a Finance Academy session versus sleeping in after a long week of school. My assumptions, however, were very wrong. The “Invest-in-Success” program and the Finance Academy sessions have become one of the reasons why I actually look forward to the weekend.
As a scholar in the program, I have had the opportunity to learn financial literacy from some of the leading experts in the industry. “Invest-in-Success” isn’t just your run-of-the-mill financial literacy program. I have also learned about a range of topics including capitalism, the economy, stocks, and bonds. My education through “Invest-in-Success” has empowered me to make smart financial decisions, be a smart consumer or savvy consumer (as the D.R.E.A.M. Co-Founders say), and has inspired me to be a future philanthropist. One of my most memorable experiences in the program thus far was forming a group along with my fellow “Invest-in-Success” Scholars and creating a business plan for a competition. We created a pop-up personal beverage retailer named Cloud Nine. It was designed to be a cafe-style lemonade stand and serve a variety of lemon based beverages. We were overjoyed when the judges announced that we had won first place in the competition.
The program has also helped to shape me in ways outside of financial literacy; it has helped to nurture me as a leader. I was elected by my peers to serve as the Vice-President of the “Invest-in-Success” Class of 2014. This role has forced me to become a more vocal individual as I am responsible for speaking on behalf of my fellow Scholars when speaking with the D.R.E.A.M. management team. This has provided me with an opportunity to have an active hand in shaping my experience in the “Invest-in-Success” program.
My experience as a Scholar in “Invest-in-Success” has been a positive influence in my life, and I'm sure it will continue to be so, as I continue on my path to financial empowerment. Through the program, I have found a sense of family and support that I did not expect to find. My participation in the “Invest-in-Success” program has stopped feeling like an obligation and more like a welcomed addition to my high school experience. Ultimately, I think the “Invest-in-Success” program is an experience that every teen should have the opportunity to participate in. If you know any high school youth, please encourage them to apply. Happy National Financial Literacy Month!
Class of 2014
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