In 1984, Bill Daniels, known as the “father of cable television,” read about a young group of Denver students unable to obtain a bank loan. Bill realized that we, as a society, are doing a disservice to youth by not allowing their participation in our financial system. His answer: a real bank just for young people that would teach financial education.
Became a Reality
In August 1987, Young Americans Bank opened in Denver, Colorado, as the world’s only bank designed specifically for young people, ages 21 and under. This was the real thing: a state-chartered, FDIC-insured bank where young people could learn financial responsibility through the use of banking products and services. After all, their financial future and the future of our communities and nation is in their hands.
The Community Wanted More
Young Americans Bank opened thousands of accounts in the first few months, and soon requests for tours, classes, and school presentations poured in. By 1988, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit was formed to provide programs complementing the bank’s educational mission. This nonprofit, now called Young Americans Center for Financial Education, provides a variety of hands-on programs for youth that develop financial skills and relevant learning.
How We’ve Grown
Starting as one small bank in 1987, we now reach more than 65,000 young people annually through our programs. Since inception, we’ve served more than 79,000 Young Americans Bank customers and more than 750,000 program participants. Our focus on the financial education needs of young people remains at the center of our work.
What the Future Holds
While enhancing our current programs, we are also exploring new opportunities that complement our mission and serve more children. We believe Bill Daniels was right when he said, “Kids who learn early about simple economics, banking and personal finance have a huge head start on their peers and will become more financially aware as adults.”