White House Summit on Financial Capability and Empowerment: Youth Panel with Secretary Arne Duncan

Uploaded by whitehouse on 10.05.2012

Secretary Arne Duncan: Well, let me not start crying to start.
And I knew Rodney was introducing me.
We haven't seen each other for three and a half years,
four years.
And to, you know, he was a remarkable young man at that
point, but to see what he's doing now.
And you guys are a lot of smart, savvy investors.
If you want to invest, invest in this young man and you can
do very, very well.
I'm just so proud of what you've accomplished and so proud about
what you're going to accomplish going forward.
It's a pretty amazing story.
Keep going, keep going.
We're all right behind you.
I know it's been a long day and hopefully really
interesting day.
I'm not going to make any long speeches.
I'd love to have our three student panelists come up
and we'll get right to the Q&A with them.
And I'll ask a few questions and really want to open it up to all
of you to engage in the conversation.
But just want to say, I'm thrilled to be here.
I got my start in public education helping to start
a small public school in the south side of Chicago.
My sister and I had the idea to start trying to create a great
public school in a neighborhood that had
been desperately underserved.
My best friend, John Rogers, helped to fund this school and
fund the after-school program.
He had the brilliant idea of having the school have a
financial literacy curriculum.
And the Ariel Community Academy has gone on to do some pretty
extraordinary things.
So this one is a personal battle for me.
I think so many of our nation's young people aren't getting the
knowledge and the skills and the access they need,
and as a country, we're paying a huge price for that.
And I think so many of the answers and innovative ideas
are going to come from you.
So thrilled to be here.
I'll stop there and get into the Q&A.
If I could just ask our student panelists to just introduce
themselves quickly and (inaudible)
couple of questions and over to you all of you (inaudible)
Precious Collier: Hello. I'm Precious Collier.
I am a junior at UCA, University of Central Arkansas.
I look like a high school student.
I'm not, I'm a college student.
I get that a lot.
I'm majoring in family consumer science and education,
and I'm also minoring in French.
I'm really looking forward to being a part of the family
consumer science field because it teaches individuals how to
think critically and also problem solving, and so, yes.
Douglas O'Neill: Hello, my name is Douglas O'Neill.
I'm a senior from Digital Harbor High School.
I was selected here from my internship of Urban Alliance
through Hope of Operation and I'm just thankful and grateful
for this opportunity.
Matthew Bloom: My name is Matthew Bloom and I go to school at
Benjamin Logan High School.
And I am currently taking a family and consumer science
personal finance class.
I've really enjoyed it.
I have learned a lot and got to experience a lot of good things
to help further my career and I'm just really thankful
to be here.
Secretary Arne Duncan: Precious, I'll start with you.
You're the oldest, and at the end of the line.
We'll work right down the line.
But just tell me how you got interested in financial literacy
and what has that led you to think about going forward?
Precious Collier: I took a class, personal family finance.
Dr. Campbell, who is taking a picture of me, was my teacher.
Secretary Arne Duncan: She doesn't look proud at all of you.
Precious Collier: I really enjoyed the class and it taught
me a lot of things that I feel will be very helpful,
especially being a teacher in career.
A lot -- I think it's also important for college students
because we don't know a lot about what to do with our money.
My peers have a lot of credit card debt already so they don't
know how to manage their credit cards.
And kind of this think about now and not think about the future.
So yes.
Secretary Arne Duncan: Precious, let me ask one more follow-up.
You come from Arkansas.
Arkansas is one of the poorest states in the nation.
And what -- do you see any relationship between what you
are learning and the need for empowering people in
your home state?
Precious Collier: And I actually am from Dallas, Texas.
And so I think that's cool, too, that for Arkansas,
I believe if -- being a teacher, I can show students what they
can do with their money and be a good example, as well,
in my career.
Secretary Arne Duncan: And Douglas, how did you get interested in this?
What's your background, how did you end up here?
Douglas O'Neill: I end up here through my internship.
And like I said before, it's a paid internship so it teaches us
how to manage and use our money in a useful way.
And I just relish the opportunity,
because a lot of kids in Baltimore don't get the
opportunity to do what I'm doing.
I'm actually -- I actually have like,
kind of like two internships, because I'm at the mayor's
office on Monday and Tuesday, and on Thursday I'm at the
police department and on Wednesday.
And my dream is to become a detective.
And Urban Alliance has done an amazing job in just teaching me
how to manage my money and showing me the importance
to education.
Secretary Arne Duncan: Just a follow-up on that.
If more of your friends in Baltimore had these kinds of
opportunities to learn, how would it impact them,
how would it change their lives?
Douglas O'Neill: I think it would -- I think it would impact
their lives dramatically, because, like I said,
everybody's not aware of financial literacy and they
don't know how to use their money.
And I think if you use your money -- if you use your money
useful, you get better results.
And that's what I've been getting.
And I think that if it was more programs like this throughout
the country, you know, a lot more students would be
interested in staying in school and everything like that.
Secretary Arne Duncan: And Matthew, like to ask, one, how you got interested; and two,
Matthew also scored in the top 20% of young people nationally
-- let's give him a round of applause -- on the financial
capability challenge.
Matthew Bloom: Thank you.
Secretary Arne Duncan: How did you get interested, how did you get so interested
and how do you do so well?
Matthew Bloom: Okay, well, it pretty much all started when I was a
younger child, about the fourth grade.
I saw my parents go through a lot of financial problems.
And I saw my grandparents go through the same kind of things.
And I just hated the way that they were feeling about this
and I just told myself I never wanted to have to
go through this.
And more than anything, you know,
I just wanted to be wealthy and not have to worry about
not being able to pay for things.
So I told myself I would do everything possible that I could
to make that dream come true.
So I went to my parents and went to my grandparents and friends
and relatives and tried to get as much information as I could.
But, you know, as a young child, you know,
you can't really remember things like that.
You're more worried about other things.
But my mom told me that I -- she'd open a savings account for
me, so she ended up doing that.
And while everybody else was out, you know, planning stuff,
I got a landscaping job.
And all the money that I got from that,
when everybody else was out, you know,
buying the coolest Xbox or something like that,
I was putting that money into a savings account.
And I just, you know, everybody else thought I was weird because
I didn't have the coolest stuff.
And I was thinking in the back of my head,
you're going to wish you hadn't said that when I'm older.
(laughter and applause)
So once I got into high school, I realized that there was a
personal finance class that family and consumer science
was holding and I said I've got to get in on this.
So I met Mrs. Stall, and instantly we connected.
And I told her my story and she did everything possible
to help me out.
And this class has just been a great experience.
I've learned so much in this class,
and I feel that it's going to help me succeed through my
future and I'm really excited to see what's going to happen next.
Second question?
Secretary Arne Duncan: For students that -- you had some amazing
personal motivation that not everyone has,
and somehow you saw the future a little bit more clearly than
other folks do.
And obviously so many young people and adults live for sort
of instant gratification and don't think about the long term.
For students that don't have that gift or that drive,
what can we do to help them move in that direction?
Matthew Bloom: I feel that unfortunately, you know, a lot of schools don't
require the subject of personal finance,
which Ben Logan, my home school, in 2014 is going to make it
mandatory to have this class.
So that's a great thing.
Because, you know, if you think about it, you know, these kids,
if they don't have these kind of classes,
they're not going to know what's going on once they graduate.
Because, you know, when you're 18 you're just like, oh,
I can't wait to get out and be on my own.
Well, they don't realize that money is everything,
and they're not going to know how to use that money if they
haven't had any education on the money that they're
going to be spending.
So they're pretty much going into life blindfolded.
And then they're like, oh, okay, they see credit card ads and
stuff, oh, I'll get a credit card,
I can just spend however much money I want.
And they don't realize that they have to pay that back
at a certain time.
And then they go into bankruptcy or they go into really big debt
and they realize, well, okay, I'll just file bankruptcy and
they can't realize -- they don't realize that they can't do that,
you know, that's going to be on their record for a long time.
So if we have this kind of classes that are definitely
mandatory for these kids to take,
then they're not going to go into life blindfolded and,
you know, they're actually going to have some idea of
what's going on and how to manage their money.
Secretary Arne Duncan: And my last question for each of you,
then I'd love to open it up to the audience,
that you have here a lot of folks that really care
about this.
We believe, but we think far too many young people in the country
haven't had the kinds of opportunities that you guys have
had, and I think these kinds of opportunities better engage you
in your future, better engage you in what you're learning in
school, make things more relevant.
But what would be your advice to me,
what would be your advice to all of us if we want to have every
single young person in the nation have these skills,
have these experiences, have this sense of the future.
What can we do better together, what can we do as a group,
to get us there?
Douglas O'Neill: Is continue to stay involved and get as much people in possible
involved and just, you know, just stress it, like.
Because this is a crucial time where we need people like you
guys to educate young adults.
Like he was saying, they're pretty much going in life
blindfolded, and we just need you guys help,
because this generation like really needs a hero.
And I just think that you guys have some brilliant ideas and I
just am so happy that I came here and I am so grateful for
this opportunity to be around all you brilliant minds.
And I just want to -- I'm just so anxious to get back and share
this with my friends and family and stress the fact,
how important financial literacy is.
Audience Member: Go get them.
Precious Collier: One big point that I think is really
important is to start as early as possible.
Especially so when we get to a point where we're in college,
we don't make, you know, oh, we're free,
we can just do whatever.
No, we already have that stable mind that, no, I need to,
you know, start finances now so that when I do graduate and I do
have my career, I know what to do.
And it doesn't matter how much money I make if I don't know how
to manage it.
It doesn't, you know, it's not going to help me any.
So I think it's very important to start as early as possible.
Matthew Bloom: I also agree with both of those.
Another thing that I really enjoyed is what we did earlier,
the financial football.
I think that was a great idea how to do that.
Because, I mean, if you think about it, you know,
a lot of kids don't really realize how
important finances are.
So, you know, even if you put them in a class,
they still might get bored because they're, you know,
this isn't important, something like that.
But if you involve them in something they think is fun,
they'll actually want to do it.
You know, like financial football, okay, you know,
they're going to get interested in it.
And then they're actually learning while they're having
fun at the same time.
I think that's great.
And also what Precious said, starting at a young age,
you want to get this in their heads as soon as you can.
Because you don't want to just -- you don't want to get it in
their heads, you know, their senior year and then they just
get all this knowledge packed in their head at once and then
they're going to, you know, they're not going to get
everything they need.
Secretary Arne Duncan: Douglas mentioned brilliant minds out here.
We've got some brilliant minds at the table.
Just appreciate your guys insight and wisdom.
Douglas O'Neill: Thanks.
Secretary Arne Duncan: Let's open it up to the audience for any questions
for our three students.
Speaker: -- can go to the microphone (inaudible)
Sabrina Lamb: Good afternoon.
I'm so proud of all of you.
My name is Sabrina Lamb.
I'm the founder and CEO of World of Money.
We are based in New York City and we empower young people like
yourself and we start at age seven.
If I could start at infancy, I would.
I would like to know, because many parents share their grief
regarding this issue, their pain, their fear,
their anger regarding their own experience with money.
Have your -- have you had candid conversations with your parents?
And though I'm confident that they're very proud of you,
have they or other adults in your life used you as
an inspiration to become financially
educated for themselves?
Matthew Bloom: Okay. Yeah, like I said before, with my family, I mean,
I saw them going through a lot of rough times at a young age.
And I went to them, you know, to learn before I had a chance
to go into my personal finance class.
So yeah, that's what a lot of kids need to do is just,
you know, go to their parents.
But it's hard for the kids to go to their parents when they don't
really know anything about it.
So we need to have the parents start talking to the kids also.
You know, the parents can't just let their kids grow up without
having any clue about it.
I mean, also like we're talking about,
we need to have -- start having the mandatory class also.
Secretary Arne Duncan: Are your parents proud of you?
Matthew Bloom: Oh, yeah, they've been proud of me for what I've,
you know, what I explained earlier.
You know, I started at a young age saving,
and I knew how to start budgets at a young age.
And I wasn't really all about spending my money when everybody
else was just, you know, blowing all their money on toys and
stuff like that.
So sometimes, you know, since they didn't have an opportunity
to be in a family and consumer science class like I am,
you know, things have changed a little bit.
So I come home and, you know, they ask me if anything -- if
I learned anything different.
And I'll explain it to them and, you know,
sometimes they didn't know the things that I explained to them,
which is good, you know.
Because even some of these parents that have been around
it their whole lives still don't know some of the new things that
are changing.
So it's good for these students to explain it to their parents,
I mean, because everybody can still learn.
Dan Rutherford: Funny, I had the same question.
My name is Dan Rutherford with the CFPB.
And I just wanted to say congratulations to all of
you for your success.
And I'd like to continue to that conversation about the
relationship between parents and kids and how finances kind of
interact there.
So maybe we could hear from the other two panelists sort of
what's your relationship with your parents around money and
what have you -- what have been your best life lessons from them
and what have you had the opportunity to teach
your parents?
Precious Collier: I think one of the biggest things for my
family that I've learned is saving,
and like the whole principle of not using all that you have and
not living -- like having fun right now and -- or not having
fun right now, but having fun later.
Like trying to not live above your means.
And I don't know.
I just, as far as like really discussing finance,
it has not -- the family has not talked a lot about it.
And I think that it would be a good experience for when
children are going and learning in a personal family type class
about finances, that they go along with it with their
parents, as well, and it's an interactive thing between the
child and the parent.
Douglas O'Neill: I think, first, before, you know,
we get into the classrooms, it should start at home.
Like parents should educate their kids on how important
money is and how they can make it useful and, yeah.
Secretary Arne Duncan: Got it.
Joey Malici: Hello, I'm Joey Malici, and I'm a senior at River Hill High
School in Howard County, Maryland.
This year I've been working on an independent research project
alongside the Maryland Department of Education,
working on their embedded K through 12 curriculum for
financial literacy.
So I had a question for all three of you.
What do you think your school system has done right with the
financial literacy education and what have you seen them do wrong
or have you seen lack of in their financial
literacy education?
Douglas O'Neill: To be honest, my school, they really don't stress -- educate
the kids on financial literacy.
So that's why, like I said, when I got involved with Urban
Alliance and the individuals from Operation Hope started
coming and started really explaining to the others how
important money was, you know.
I started learning like, wow, I really need to save.
Because we had a really good speaker,
I kind of forgot his name, but he gave us like scenarios like,
oh, you know how kids walk around with -- well,
I happened to have some high-price shoes on.
And he was -- and he basically, he basically told me, well,
if you could spend $200 on shoes,
you can -- you can save up some of that money, you know,
for college and stuff like that.
And I took what he said seriously.
So I'm saving and I feel that -- that's why I feel that a lot of
kids really need this education on financial literacy.
Matthew Bloom: I agree with them, too.
I think it's a great experience, the class that I have taken.
I have learned so much in that class.
I mean, I went in there, you know,
I didn't really know a whole lot about finances and budgeting and
I wanted to learn.
So I was completely open to everything that was -- that I
was ready to learn and what was going to happen in the class.
So I learned a lot about savings and how to budget my money.
And before I attended this class, every couple of mornings,
you know, I'd stop by McDonald's and, you know, get a smoothie.
And then, you know, those extra couple dollars,
once I got in this class, I learned that
every dollar counts.
And those couple dollars that I was spending every day,
I stopped spending and then I ended up putting those in my
savings account, and over several months,
that really adds up.
And then another thing, I learned about interest and
how I could earn money just by having money, pretty much.
So I learned about money markets and certificates of deposit and
I went and Mrs. Stall helped me out with learning how to
open those.
And I went and opened a money market and a certificate of
deposit, and I already had a savings account and just went
from there.
Precious Collier: I think for college students, I think we -- lack of letting
them know about stocks, because for some reason you say stocks
or investing and everyone goes, no, they kind of get afraid.
Or if you talk about retirement, as well,
they don't see any point in it.
They're like, why do we need to, you know,
be concerned about saving for the future.
I'm not going to get old -- even though we are going to get old
eventually -- so we need to remember that.
And so, yeah, I think the school needs to stress on those things
and make it a required class.
At the university that I go to, UCA,
University of Central Arkansas, it is not a required class for
students to take.
And I think making it a gen ed for everyone to have to take
would be very important.
Secretary Arne Duncan: I know we have a lot of questions.
Do two more, one here, one here, then we'll close.
Hopefully these guys can stick around a little longer if you
have more questions come afterwards.
Final two.
Joey Malici: Could I just add one thing to what Doug was saying.
I, as a student in the Maryland public school system,
I agree with you that we have seen a lack of the financial
literacy in our curriculum.
But hopefully within the next couple of years with
the financial literacy curriculum put in place,
we'll see students who are financially literate and are
graduating from Maryland public school systems without having to
take the step outside the classroom with the classroom
teaching the students.
Beth Kobliner: Beth Kobliner.
I'm on the President's Advisory Council on Financial Literacy.
I think all three of you are awesome.
I think you're amazing role models for kids your age.
And I wanted to thank Arne Duncan for the leadership
you've been showing.
You spoke at the council, you've told us to be bold,
and it's really been -- I think people are really listening.
My question to the three of you, I guess, Precious,
you've dealt with this issue, and you other two guys,
I wanted to know, do you feel your high schools -- or what was
your high school experience like in terms of getting advice on
financial literacy when it comes to college?
In other words, there's so much talk about student debt and the
concerns people have about getting too much debt.
Are you getting the information you need?
And if you could just talk a little bit about that.
Precious Collier: My high school experience, they lacked giving us financial
literacy about how to prepare for school.
There are not a lot of times that they told us ways to pay
for it or how to handle situations and also what
to handle after we graduate, as well.
Douglas O'Neill: I'm not going to say that I have no advice,
but my high school experience, I did have teachers,
you know, coming up to me and telling me, you know,
useful information towards dealing with college and money.
Matthew Bloom: I think the complete opposite, actually.
I learned quite a bit about saving for college and I -- they
gave me a lot of opportunities about exactly what to do and how
to do it.
So they gave me every bit of information that I needed to,
you know, apply for scholarships or how to save or just different
things to do so that I could have -- not go into debt once
I go to college.
Because that's a huge thing for students because they don't
realize how much money they're going to have to pay back.
Because they see the number and they're like, okay, you know,
I could eventually pay that off.
But when you have all these payments that you're paying
back, you know, you have interest on this that -- and
you're going to end up paying a lot more than that first number.
Secretary Arne Duncan: Last question.
Deborah Chromy: Sure. And actually, it's staying with the same theme.
My name is Deborah Chromy.
I'm with the nonprofit American Student Assistance that teaches
students in college or helps them develop financial
competencies and then helps them manage their student loan debt
after they get out of school.
So sort of following up on that, Precious,
and then for the two in high school,
the financial acumen that you have developed,
how has that changed your thoughts about going to college,
as well as how you would go about financing college?
Douglas O'Neill: Well, it definitely make you think a lot
more and just make smart decisions, you know,
and to save as much as possible.
Because like my buddy said, every dollar counts, you know.
So just -- I know we young and we want to have fun,
but we got to plan ahead.
So it's always, you know, room to have fun later and just plan
as much as possible.
Matthew Bloom: Pretty much took the words right out of my mouth.
Like you said, you've just got to try to plan as much
as you can.
You've got to prepare for the unexpected.
So you just want to try to save as much as you can, like I said,
you know, try to get scholarships, stuff like that.
So I've done as much as I could possible to get as many
scholarships as I could, get as many applications in as I could.
Because, like I said, again, every little bit helps.
And, you know, us kids, you know,
we can't really do it on our own.
So, you know, you've got to try your best through school to get
the best grades you can and, you know,
with the jobs that you have, save as much money as you can.
You've got to work hard to, you know, succeed.
Things aren't just handed to you, you know.
You've got to work for what you get.
Secretary Arne Duncan: Well, I'd just like to thank all of you for spending the day on
this critically important topic.
We are not at a tipping point yet as a country.
We're getting closer, and I think collectively we've got
to get over that hump.
Please give a huge round of applause to Precious
and Matt and Douglas.
Thanks for today.
And if we didn't get to your questions, I apologize.
If you guys can stick around for a minute,
you've got a lot of fans out here that want to meet you.
Thanks so much, guys.