A new program offered through YouthQuest aims to give students the tools they need to take control of their financial futures.

The Banking On Our Future (BOOF) financial dignity program is currently being piloted at six YouthQuest sites, thanks to a partnership with Operation HOPE and Huntington Bank. As part of the pilot program, students are learning about five main concepts:

  1. Dignity. There are many ways to act with dignity, and managing your money wisely is one of them. Your actions – such as saving your earnings and contributing to charity — show that you take your financial responsibilities seriously.
  2. Budgeting basics. By learning how to differentiate between needs and wants (e.g., food versus a new video game), you can effectively manage your money.
  3. Banking. The safest way to save is to deposit your money in a savings account at a bank or credit union. That way, no one can take your money without your permission.
  4. Credit fundamentals. Your credit helps lenders decide whether you can borrow from them and how much to charge you when you do. To build good credit, it is important to borrow only as much money as you can repay and to repay it on time.
  5. Saving and Investment. Saving and investing your money are two different approaches for setting aside money for future purchases.

BOOF’s curriculum can be modified to meet the needs of students from third through 12th grade, according to Rhetta Hunyady, Vice President of Education & Training at the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce, which administers YouthQuest.

“We’re excited to show our students that it’s never too early to start thinking about business, entrepreneurship and money management,” Hunyady says. “In fact, the earlier, the better!”

For now, BOOF is being treated as a club at six YouthQuest sites. In time, the initiative will grow to all sites and include HOPE Business in a Box Academies youth entrepreneurship program at the high school level. Once students advance to the entrepreneurship program, they will learn how to develop a business idea and financial plan.

To learn more about the Hope Business in a Box Academies, click here.