About Eva Baker
Eva Baker is the founder of Teens Got Cents, an online resource dedicated to educating and equipping teens to manage their finances. She also founded the Teenpreneur Conference, the first of which was held this past summer in Jacksonville, Florida. Eva is engaged in her local community, working with existing organizations to bring financial literacy to teens and young adults.
The current state of financial literacy for teens
Teenagers today receive little to no education in the area of personal finance. Very few states offer any classes about money management and even fewer have a graduation requirement involving personal finance classes. Unfortunately, for most teens, these skills are not taught in their home either.
The results of this lack of education in basic money management skills results in teens who make poor financial decisions that can cripple them financially for the rest of their lives. Teens need to be exposed to the information they need to make wise financial decisions now and avoid mistakes like taking on massive student loan debt or going into credit card debt because they do not understand the long term consequences of living beyond their means.
How Eva Baker is currently addressing the problem in her community
Rather than offering a single class on some random personal finance topic and never seeing the attendees again, Eva is developing free, ongoing classes to teens over the course of several months. The ongoing classes will create authentic relationships with the class attendees in pursuit of affecting their behavior and changing outcomes for their financial future.
These are a selection of the classes currently being taught in the community:
- Basic Budgeting and the Envelope System for Teens
- How to Buy Your First Car
- How to Get a Great Part Time Job
- Ways to Find the Best Deals And Shop Smart
- How to Go To College Debt Free
- How to Start Your Own Business
Typically classes are structured in three parts. The information is presented in a conversational (no lectures!) and interactive style. Q & A happens right in class as questions come up. There is a practical time where participants write down their budget plans and develop their own envelope system. They are provided with notebooks where they create vision pages of the type of car/job/life they want and write out step by step plans for achieving their goals. Class ends with a snack and a silly (but not lame) game to keep things fun and interesting.
At times Eva does a drawing for a gift card open to attendees who participate appropriately during class.
Ideally the class structure could work with two groups at a time and teach once a week on an every other week basis.
Funding is needed to cover the expenses of the classes themselves (salary for the facilitator, supplies, snacks, prizes and game supplies) as well as developing a more formal curriculum to use. Our long term ideas include having a printed notebook/workbook the teens could bring with them to each workshop with pre-printed notes as well as plenty of open space to write in their own plans.
Eva has already taught hundreds of students similar classes in Northeast Florida over the last few years with tremendous success. She would like to continue to do so in the most underserved communities where this type of education is rarely found. She currently has 30 classes scheduled for October and November of 2016 in partnership with another local non-profit and would like to provide even more opportunities throughout her community.
Full annual funding for these community classes would be $4,800.