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Are Your Kids #Futuresmart?

Are Your Kids #Futuresmart?

[Sponsored] Thursday I attended an exciting event at the Barclay’s Center designed to teach local kids financial literacy. Sponsored by Mass Mutual, it was hosted by Hill Harper and included a surprise Nets guest (former player Buck Williams it turns out!). But that wasn’t the best part. The best part was the kids. Thousands of middle schoolers filled the stands and rocked the house. They loved every bit of it.

BROOKLYN, NY – January 11: The Mass Mutual FutureSmart Challenge 2017 with special guests Hill Harper and Nets Legend Buck Williams on January 11, 2018 at Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York. (Photo by Mike Lawrence)

The #Futuresmart program is, well, smart. And very much needed. The organizers didn’t know this when they invited me, but I have strong personal feelings about finanical education. I think a lot of well-meaning programs spread the wrong messages, but this program and curriculum is fantastic. They have been bringing these events to cities across the county to great success.

So, what is the message?

Hill Harper had endless energy as he connected with the kids by asking questions, joking, and even hosting a brief dance contest.

But, more importantly, Hill hit all the finanical points I care about:

  • Money is a Tool –and you should learn how to use it
  • Good Debt vs. Bad Debt
  • Compound Interest is Awesome

Hill Harper warmed my heart when he asked the kids to think about what a player earns compared to the CEO of the team and then really made me love him when he followed up that it isn’t always a bad idea to take out a student loan.  My favorite line of the day, “You Can’t Afford Not to Go to College”. As someone who owes her whole life to access to student loans, this is an important message.

And another man after my heart, Buck Williams discussing needs versus wants and how sometimes it takes time to get what you want:  “Growing up in poverty teaches you one thing: how to be patient.”  I know this is true.

BROOKLYN, NY – January 11: The Mass Mutual FutureSmart Challenge 2017 with special guests Hill Harper and Nets Legend Buck Williams on January 11, 2018 at Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York. (Photo by Mike Lawrence)

I wish the Mass Mutual Foundation and the Junior Achievement League, their partners in the #FutureSmart program, all the best in their goal to educate 2 million students and their families by 2020 through the FutureSmart program. Parents should know: they have an awesome free app that teaches kids financial basics (I checked it out) available on Google Play–just look up #FutureSmart.

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This article was sponsored by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company(MassMutual), Springfield, MA 01111-0001. www.MassMutual.com. All opinions are those of the author.

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