11th Grader Develops Financial Literacy Program in One of LAUSD’s Largest Middle Schools

A study from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation found that only 17% of younger Americans aged 18-34 could answer basic questions about financial literacy

Los Angeles, California (May 24, 2021) Judah Feig, an 11th grader at Valley International Prep High School, with a passion to help his peers be financially literate, developed Money Smarts, a student created and led financial literacy program. His audience:  Teens who are interested in learning the basics of money and finance but do not have access to financial literacy education in their communities or at their schools. www.moneysmartsproject.org

I founded Money Smarts because there is an overwhelming lack of access to financial literacy education in the United States. There is a financial literacy education crisis among teens and adults in this country. 

A study from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation found that only 17% of younger Americans aged 18-34 could answer basic questions about financial literacy correctly. We cannot allow the next generation of teens to follow the same path as millennials. The COVID 19 Pandemic and the recession that is following has taught us many things, especially the importance of financial literacy education, especially for those who don’t have access to it. I also believe that students that come from lower income communities are systemically put at a disadvantage when it comes to learning about money. That disparity is something I hope to improve and make even a small difference for positive change”said Feig.

Money Smarts has an engaging and interactive curriculum that reviews dozens of topics that are essential to financial literacy education for teens. Feig launched his program first at one of Los Angeles’s biggest public middle schools, Millikan Middle School Affiliated Charter. 

The Dean of Millikan Middle School, Nina Jackson, has been supervising the program and sitting in on Feig’s classes. Dean Jackson observed the program writing, “This is a much needed mini-course in financial literacy for today’s youth. Judah kept the students engaged with a great mix of lecture-power points-short videos and games in order to teach.” 

Feig’s goal is to expand Money Smarts to more public middle and high schools throughout Los Angeles and is in the process of recruiting and training other 11th and 12th graders to carry the message and teach the course. His mission is to make financial literacy education more accessible to teens, especially those from lower income areas. Money Smarts is also being launched as a summer program that will be available to teens all across the country.