You could hear a pin drop as we sat down in front of ten teenage foster children. It was 9am and these teens were still rubbing the sleep from their eyes, less than enthused to hear what we might be able to teach them about basic finances. However, these teens were about to leave the system and go out into the world on their own, and being financially stable is a binary make it or break it proposition.

As we worked hard to connect with the group, we covered topics from financial dignity, budgeting, credit, loans, and the stock market. We were amazed to see how underprepared these children were with regards to basic finance.

Only a couple minutes in (and to our great surprise), hands shot up and questions were called out, as we hit a nerve with some of our teachings, and they became eager to learn more.

But we learned too! Their questions and life experiences really opened our eyes to the challenges of children in the foster care system. With so little guidance and direction, we wondered how these children would rapidly learn the financial lessons that more privileged youth receive from their families and peers

[P1] . We enjoyed our time with these kids, but understood how much more they really needed.

We hope to have given these children the desire and hope to succeed in their own lives as they exit the foster care system, and could not have been more impressed with their spirit and resilience.

While we taught them some basic concepts, and helped answer numerous questions, they walked away with a much more important message. Financially, if you do what’s right and act from a position of strength, you can set yourself up for success no matter what challenges you may face along the way.

We encouraged them to face up to their fears, and to reach for their dreams in life….and along the way, we each were touched by their stories, and the warmth of their thanks as we parted ways at days end.