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Denver Public Schools alums drive financial literacy requirement to prep grads for life

By Mekialaya White

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    DENVER (KCNC) — All kinds of classes are required to graduate at Denver Public Schools.

And now, students have a new one: financial literacy.

After months of planning, leaders and grads are officially kicking off those courses.

“Investing takes time and I know that you learned that in the session,” Tiffany Askins said to students. She’s the new program coordinator for financial literacy for DPS.

Askins clearly is passionate about helping students. She said, “Today we have brought young adults from around DPS to a conference to talk about financial literacy.”

This effort is all after graduates came together – saying they wish they knew more about managing their money going into college. The new graduation requirement was an initiative of the DPS alumni organization Ednium.

Now, those grads – like Sierra Askins – are helping give current students their first lesson. Askins said “Having only 30 minutes to present this information to them. It did feel felt like it was only five minutes but you know what, that’s okay. I was in charge of facilitating the 60 seconds to become a millionaire.”

Initially, diving into the curriculum can stir up a lot of emotions.

Tiffany Askins said, “They are eager to begin this journey. They’re also even afraid because this means that they’re doing something different that maybe they haven’t ever seen before.”

But Tiffany says – they quickly see it’s real life.

And instead of daunting, it’s doable.

East High junior Liv Meyer said, “I as a junior, I have big aspirations for myself. And I think anyone is capable of saving and building up for a plan at such a young age. Anyone can start now. And I hope that in my future I can build up enough money to do what I love and support a family.”

East senior Eva Wolfe added, “At this young age, time is the biggest factor in financial security so starting now when you’re young and investing and putting money toward your 401k is the best way to build financial adequacy.”

“Helping them understand how their mindset around money impacts their ability to level up,” Tiffany Askins added.

Students learned a little of everything, including how to secure a clear money path, how to launch a small business, and they took part in a session called “Your money before 20.”

To learn more about Ednium’s work, visit: ednium.org

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