From UndiosUS: "Peer-to-peer financial education: How this UnidosUS Affiliate is helping Latinx youth understand finance"

By Beatriz Paniego-Béjar, Content Specialist at UnidosUS

It is a weekday afternoon. The school day is over, but a group of middle-schoolers stay behind. Today, they’re beginning an afterschool program led by high-school mentors. During the next few weeks, they’ll learn financial basics like how to open a bank account, what credit cards are, and more.

We are on the Northwest side of Chicago, where Latinos account for approximately 85% of the population. Of them, one-third are youth under 18, and the Northwest Side Housing Center realized that they need to learn life skills that they won’t get in a regular classroom.

“It is critical that our youth understand finances before it becomes a bigger issue,” says Esteban Rodriguez, Director of Community Schools and Youth at UnidosUS Affiliate Northwest Side Housing Center (NWSHC). Ending cycles of poverty—or as the Aspen Institute puts it: building intergenerational cycles of opportunity—requires our youth to have access to postsecondary education, opening their doors to a brighter future.

Laura Slabaugh