While actual numbers vary, all reports are disconcerting. The National Financial Educators Council reports that in 2017, the average family lost $1,170.95 due to lack of financial knowledge. Howard Gold, a columnist at MarketWatch, places this number close to $10 billion a year. The Atlantic reports that more than one-third of wealth inequality could be accounted for by disparities in financial knowledge. This is according to Annamaria Lusardi, a professor at George Washington University.
The hands-on financial literacy programs of Young Americans Center for Financial Education deliver foundational knowledge to help enable youth of all backgrounds to be economically self-sufficient adults. A leading partner in this work is CoBank, a cooperative bank serving agribusinesses, rural infrastructure providers and Farm Credit associations throughout the United States. In particular, CoBank supports Send-a-School, a scholarship initiative that sends low-income schools to Young AmeriTowne and International Towne.
CoBank’s support is part of its corporate citizenship initiatives which support community causes in the Denver metro area (home of the bank’s national headquarters) and across the country. According to its website, CoBank contributed more than $12.3 million to non-profit organizations in 2017.
Chief Financial Officer of CoBank, David Burlage also chairs the Young Americans Center for Financial Education Board. As a banker and a parent, Dave supports the youth financial literacy programs of Young Americans Center because they create economically self-sufficient adults. Dave notes, “By encouraging kids to save their money…teaching them about how the free market economy works…and helping them understand the importance of business, Young Americans Center for Financial Education is molding young people into productive citizens, entrepreneurs and leaders that our community will need in the future.”