Rosie Wentworth: Paths 2 Prosperity – October 11, 2011

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

When I was a young adult, dealing with money was far less complicated than it is today.

When I opened my first checking account I didn’t have to deal with ATMs, debit cards, or on-line banking. I simply wrote a check, recorded it in my check register, and balanced my bank statement.

For young people today, it is much more complex to deal with money. Youth are bombarded with choices about what kind of checking account to open, which credit cards to have, how to best make car and other payments, and where and how to pay for insurance.

I have been teaching money management for 16 years and have seen the struggle our young adults have in trying to maneuver through the maze that is financial responsibility.

For this reason, Consumer Credit Counseling Service (CCCS) has developed Paths 2 Prosperity (P2P), a program designed specifically for youth ages 16 to 25. P2P is a financial education and workforce training program, developed, implemented and evaluated in part by a Youth Advisory Committee (YAC).

This program has been designed to give youth an opportunity to develop money management skills as well as job skills, such as organizing and analyzing data, research, public speaking and networking.

P2P is designed to cover a period of four classes over one month’s period. The first series will be held Saturdays in October and will include a graduation ceremony at the end of the last class.

October 8, 15, 22 and 29, workshops will range in topics from budgeting, credit to banking. Since learning occurs by doing as well as hearing and seeing, there will be the opportunity to learn money management skills as well as skills that can be developed into job skills.

In addition to the classes, CCCS has recruited youth to be members of a Youth Advisory Committee. The YAC is responsible for helping CCCS staff plan, recruit, implement, and evaluate the Paths 2 Prosperity program. The committee is comprised of five youths who have strong leadership skills and want to help promote Financial Literacy in the community.

Through the StepUp for Youth Jobs, CCCS has two apprentices that help the YAC and CCCS staff with organizing, networking, and program implementation. The apprentices and the YAC will complete the four-week classes as part of their training.

Attending the four-week series of workshops will give youth the opportunity also to develop service learning projects that can be used to promote financial literacy in the community. With all of these tools in hand, today’s young people will be better equipped for today’s complex world as well as their financial futures.

Consumer Credit Counseling Service of the North Coast is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing professional consumer credit education, confidential counseling, and debt reduction programs to all segments of the community regardless of the ability to pay.

For more information and to register for this class, contact (707) 822-8536. 

Rosie Wentworth is program development director for Consumer Credit Counseling Service of the North Coast.

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