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In what ways is your school investing in your future?

Do you think it is equipping you with the skills and experiences to become financially independent and secure, such as providing internships, clubs, after-school programs, financial literacy courses or vocational training?
A nonprofit group in New York City is giving thousands of students in Harlem $10,000 each to invest. Its goal is to help students build wealth over their lifetimes and to close the racial wealth gap. What is your reaction to their plan? Would you want your community to adopt a similar one?
In “A Plan to Help Harlem Students Build Wealth: Start Them Off With $10,000,” Stefanos Chen writes about a bold pilot program to address wealth inequality:
A New York City nonprofit group, flush with millions in private capital, is piloting a first-of-its-kind savings program to address the racial wealth gap — by giving thousands of students in Harlem $10,000 each to invest.
The Harlem Children’s Zone, an influential anti-poverty organization, said it is raising $300 million for an initiative called Wealth Builds that will launch in Upper Manhattan, where the group operates, and expand to 10 other cities, including Atlanta and Minneapolis.
The group said it has already raised enough money to provide the funds to more than 2,200 youths: the entire student body at two charter schools it runs called Promise Academy, from kindergarten to 12th grade.
And most of the students don’t know it yet.
“The parents will definitely lose their minds,” Kwame Owusu-Kesse, the nonprofit’s chief executive, said with a smile, after a tour of one of the schools.
A kindergartner enrolled this year in the program could expect the $10,000 allotment, which will be controlled by professional money managers, to accrue interest of about 5 percent a year, Mr. Owusu-Kesse said. At the age of 25, the student could have roughly $26,000 in savings.
Admittance into the Promise Academy schools is decided through a lottery system with preference given to the local district, which is predominantly lower income.
The fund, Mr. Owusu-Kesse said, is an acknowledgment that education alone cannot bridge the gap in wealth, which has been growing along racial lines for decades. The median family income at a nearby public housing complex, St. Nicholas Houses, where many of the students live, was about $18,000 a year, he said, far below the poverty line.
“What good is financial education, if you don’t have the assets to apply said education to?” he asked. “It’s the next logical step.”
The $10,000 grants, called Youth Opportunity Funds, will be invested on behalf of students who will only be able to access the full amount at the age of 25, after reaching milestones like graduating high school and college, and completing financial literacy courses. Students who don’t reach all the milestones would still be entitled to part of the money.
The article discusses how the pilot fund could have dramatic effects:
For every dollar a typical white household had in 2022, a Black family had 16 cents, and a Latino one had 22 cents, according to the Urban Institute, a nonprofit research organization focused on upward mobility and equity.
Early access to capital is important because the wealth gap balloons over time. The typical younger Black family had median wealth of less than $1,000 in 2019, compared with over $25,000 for a similar white family, according to research by the Federal Reserve. A more established white family, led by someone over 55, had $315,000 in assets, compared with $54,000 for a similar Black family.
Darrick Hamilton, the founding director of the Institute on Race, Power and Political Economy at the New School, said the program is probably the largest private investment to address the country’s racial wealth gap, adding that he was excited about its potential.
“We look at wealthy people, and they already do this,” he said. “In some ways this is democratizing trust funds for others.”
My students, read the entire article and then tell me:
Should schools give students money to invest in their futures? Why or why not?
In what ways is your school investing — literally or figuratively — in your future? Are these ways effective?
What is your reaction to the Harlem Children’s Zone pilot program that gives students in its charter schools $10,000 each to invest? How successful do you think it will be in creating financial independence and reducing wealth inequality? Would you want your community to adopt a similar plan?
“My jaw dropped,” Elijah Grace, 19, said when he was informed that he would be included in the fun. “To be a young person of color, to know that someone believes that much in you, that they would invest that much money, it’s honestly — I don’t know how to put it in words.” How would you react to learning you had received a $10,000 grant from your school? What would you want to invest it in — a down payment on a home, further education or savings for your retirement?
Kwame Owusu-Kesse, the chief executive of Harlem Children’s Zone, says, “What good is financial education, if you don’t have the assets to apply said education to?” Do you agree? Should schools and communities do more to help young people build wealth in their futures?
What ideas do you have to better invest in our students?

I believe that the majority of public schools should give out money to students in need at least. I can say this not only because I come from it and can relate. but because I can see even today students of certain races struggle wealth wise. I believe that providing students with financial resources to invest in their futures can be a positive thing. It promotes financial responsibility and preparing adolescents for adulthood. However, this action should be paired with education on how to manage these finances and make informed investment decisions. Without proper guidance, these funds could be misused and negatively impact an individual's future.
I think there are two sides to this argument. Part of me wants to say yes because starting kids young with dealing with money will help them create better choices later on and already have a strong amount of savings. But I also believe that it is unnecessary and unobtainable. I think it would be very difficult for all schools to receive those amounts of money to give to every student in order for them all to be able to start. I think this could create a very large gap between schools that can afford to give the kids money and schools that can't. Therefore, when it is closing one gap it is opening another one. I also think that it is unnecessary because kindergarteners only need to be focused on learning the colors of the rainbow, not how to invest money. Our country is already so focused on money I think if they were started so young, it would take away from their childhood. Finally, some kids would take this money that is meant to be a learning lesson and use it in an inappropriate way. In all, I believe giving kids money to invest at a young age will end up doing more harm than good. I will give a solid yes. Even though in the answer above I said that the upbringing environment is the main factor affecting a person, I still think that money plays a crucial role in life. Even though I believe that most students will not change after they are given the extra money, if there are one or two students who really gain a second life because of the money, I think it's valuable. The crucial part of the extra money, in my opinion, is to save students time. When in poverty, they might need to spend extra time after school working. This is not fun at all because most entry-level jobs bring no help to a person's life. Spending more time in education is obviously better than spending time working. There are large debates over whether or not schools should give money to students to invest in their futures. Many believe that schools should because several students face financial disadvantages, thus suppressing their potential. However, others argue that schools should not, due to the chance that a majority of students will not make wise decisions with this financial aid. I believe that students should receive financial aid from schools to invest in their futures because it not only expands their potential, but it also gives an opportunity to many who come from financially struggling families. Yes, I agree with the fact that some may try to take advantage of this money in the future and use it poorly. But I believe that with proper financial guidance and restrictions, students should be wiser with this money. Giving students money to invest in the future is really double-edged knife, on one hand, we all know how important it is to invest early in your life, on the other hand, do we really know what students will spend this money on? On one hand, we are teaching students how to invest but on the other hand, the amount of money needed is not something that is easy to find. Taxes may have to be raised as funding for schools are forced to increase. It really leads down to do the benefit of teaching students financial literacy at a young age and allowing them to invest early outweigh the harms and the effects on everyone else?
Schools should give students money to invest in their futures because today's students are drowned in student debt, and that they usually don't have a lot of money when they get out of college. Some students also don't know how to save money properly and usually spend all their money. So, giving students money to invest in their futures not only helps them pay off their debt, but also learns how to save money properly and give them a good start when they come out of college.
I think this should only occur for special cases that were looked at and approved by social workers. This is because of the fact that some parents may use the money for something else, or the student may be irresponsible with the money. For example, if little Timmy might want to become a Youtuber like Mr. Beast when he grows up and uses all the government money to something stupid, it'd be a waste of money. Instead, I think that they should just make tuition fees for colleges, medical school and law school cheaper and scholarships more widely accessible instead.
Schools should give students the funds in order to at least afford the first year of college or a university, other schools such as Middle School and High School should have no cost at all. Though it would make sense for schools to give students money to start investing in their future. This is because of the necessary things you will need to have for an actual job, such as biochemists, engineers, most of these jobs need a starting fund in order to function how they do. I do not think that it is absolutley crucial for schools to give students money to invents in their futures. If they choose to do so, that is totally great, but I wouldn't demand it. Actually, we should focous more on student loan debt. College should be free. Free college allows students of all socioeconomic backgrounds to have access to the proper education that they deserve, rather than legacy children and childen whos parents' fund the institution taking up all the spots. That isn't fair. For all intents and purposes, funding a child's future is not hat we should be worrying about right now. It might be a good idea, though (emphasis on idea). I agree with the fact that the kids should not be able to spend the money they are given on personal expenses. However, I think if the schools were selective on who they give the money to that would create a whole different amount of problems. Parents could lie about their income in order for their kids to be able to receive the money. This is why I think there is no good way to go about this opinion. The idea behind it makes so much sense to teach kids about money starting young but I doubt that most schools would be able to give kids money. Yes, I believe that schools should invest money into students futures. This is because they are spending majority of their lives in schools. They should help students not only with their education but financially as well since some people might not be financially stable to continue and to pursue their education further. I believe that it's important for all students to be given the ability to invest in their futures (I'll be specifying on investing for college primarily for convenience). If we give Pre-K to high school students the ability to invest for their college on their own during their 12 years of initial learning, we'll find that those students will likely have a greater chance at a more advanced education. I don't think any elaboration is necessary for why students getting a better and more advanced education. I believe that schools should give students money to invest in their futures, but there is a downside to this. Schools in the United States are funded by local, state, and federal dollars. Unfortunately, the amount of money schools are funded is high enough to be giving every graduating student money to invest. If more money went to schools, then it would be possible to fund schools, teachers, and give students money for investing. Schools should give money to students to invest in their education because with education nowadays, many have to invest thousands upon thousands of dollars just to get a decent education, and if students are instead given the money, it allows them to more easily access good education, which can greatly benefit their future.

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