WAUKESHA -- Managing money is an essential task we do every day, and one way to be successful at it is to teach people while they're young.
The nonprofit organization, Make a Difference Wisconsin, delivers financial literacy classes to high school students across the state. Volunteers show students how to create a budget, manage a bank account, properly use credit and even how their spending will affect national and global economies.
“We’re helping our next generation understand the rules, because if you understand the rules, then you can play the game,” said founder Lloyd Levin. “If people don't learn from the mistakes we've made, we're doomed to repeat them.”
Waukesha South High School is one of the schools the group has helped, training high school juniors and seniors to become financially responsible. “I've had the times where I've gotten low on my bank account, and I think from now on I have a better idea of how I can use my money wisely. To keep it and save it for the long run,” senior John Greenwald said.
On Wednesday, State Farm Insurance awarded the organization a $10,000 grant to expand its program to other schools. “We look at it as an investment in the lives and futures in our young adults,” State Farm agent Joe Bonow said.
“$10,000 is over 300 students that we will reach because of what State Farm has done,” Levin said.
Levin said the money will be put to good use by helping young adults develop sound financial futures. “We hope we can change our city and change our community,” Levin said.
Since Make a Difference Wisconsin began in 2006, it has delivered financial literacy programs to more than 23,000 students in 70 high schools throughout southeast Wisconsin.