As the economy goes through turmoil, and the long summer months stretch out ahead, teenagers may be encouraged to take a summer job to help the family finances – or simply so they can have money to spend on their own needs.
But many don’t know how to save, budget, or understand the basics of finances. Michelle Carter-Pope wants to change that.
Pope, the Senior Partner of Business & Community Engagement at Texas Trust Credit Union points out that:
- 22% of teens lack a foundation in basic financial skills. That means that they felt they did not have the background to do basic things like build a budget for beginners
- 32% of teens can’t identify the difference between a credit card and a debit card
- 59% of parents are uncomfortable talking to kids about money
Pope realized the need for financial literacy for adolescents and created a “Teen Money Camp” to address it.
“I saw all these summer camps for kids for sports and band and things, and thought why not offer a camp on financial empowerment? Teens need to learn about Financial Literacy. Summer is a good time to do that.”
The brainchild of Michelle Pope, Teen Money Camp, was originally meant for 15 participants. The free day-long camp at the DeSoto Civic Center “sold out” almost immediately.
“I was thrilled, and surprised,” Pope said, “So I decided to open it up to 30 campers.” The next 15 students filled up the camp quickly.
Again, Pope realized the need and at the prompting of City of DeSoto Youth Manager, Sydney Elliott, went ahead and opened it up for a total of 60 participants. “But that’s it – I knew I couldn’t handle any more campers and I asked for help to run the camp!”
She got it. She’ll be joined by financial experts from local banks and businesses so the participants will learn from several successful businessmen and women. DeSoto Parks & Rec, Score Factor Financial Services, Bank of America, and Lonnie B Creative Designs are a few of the companies that jumped at the opportunity to help future business owners. Primerica advisor, Chris Henderson, Sr., will also be presenting.
Topics will include Entrepreneurship, Interviewing Skills, Investing, Credit, and Budgeting.
Breakfast and lunch will be provided.
Pope, a graduate of San Diego State University and a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. has also recently been a volunteer as a Confidence Coach with non-profit ConqHer, Inc. She is excited to be helping local teens get ahead in their future careers by teaching life-long lessons about finances. She’s been working at Texas Trust Credit Union for 12 years and is always looking for ways to help the local community.
The camp is on Tuesday July 12 from 9 am to 5:00 pm and will be at the DeSoto Civic Center’s Bluebonnet rooms located on 211 E. Pleasant Run Road.
For more information, contact Michelle Carter-Pope, BA, CCUFC, Sr. Partner Business & Community Engagement, Texas Trust Credit Union (972) 595-1726. Or email: MCarter-Pope@TexasTrustCU.org | TexasTrustCU.org
More Choices for Teens
The DeSoto Parks and Recreation department has many summer camp offerings this year. The department’s mission is “to enrich the quality of life in DeSoto, provide World Class customer service, premier parks and dynamic recreational experiences.”
DeSoto Parks and Recreation is a vital component in the community that provides diverse services and opportunities. Our staff will be known for their commitment to professionalism and their ability to grow and change with the community.
A lengthy list of summer camp opportunities can be found online: Welcome to Our Community! | DeSoto, TX – Official Website
Parks and Recreation Administrative Office
211 E. Pleasant Run Rd. DeSoto, TX 75115
Monday – Friday
8 a.m. – 5 p.m.