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Moneythink promotes financial literacy

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Haryoon Jang started the chapter of Moneythink at OSU, an organization that mentors students in classrooms about finance before they reach college, with the hopes of bringing enhanced fiscal literacy to local young adults.

Moneythink is an organization that uses mentorships to fulfill the vision of a world where every student is financially literate and prepared to make smart financial decisions upon entering adulthood, according to the Moneythink website.

With the addition of more Moneythink mentors, Jang, a third-year in finance, said he hopes to bring the organization to Columbus and will now begin the mentorship program in high school classrooms.

Moneythink at OSU is a chapter of a national organization, which formed during the 2007 economic crisis when students at the University of Chicago wanted to help prevent another economic downfall and promote a healthier economy, according to Moneythink’s website.

Jang said he took the broad idea of financial literacy and broke it down to its most important and core values to teach underprivileged youth in inner-city schools.

“Moneythink strives to partner with a school with at least 85 percent free or reduced lunches,” said Lauren Palmer, a third-year in finance and co-president. The organization’s mission is to teach high school juniors and seniors about the importance of personal finance.

Jang said he and Palmer wish to bring this life skill to students in the Columbus area.

“I don’t think there’s an organization like this. I think this is something that society needs,” Jang said. “Financial literacy is missing.”

Moneythink at OSU is set to enter high school government classes this January. Jang said the organization will begin mentoring at Columbus North International School, which does not currently offer a stand-alone personal finance class.

According to Moneythink’s website, mentors will follow a Financial Capability Curriculum that covers mindful spending, what credit is, and how to save money, along with other finance-related topics aimed at creating “financially healthy adults.”

Sometimes, as adults, we assume that students have a good sense of how to manage their money,” said Kenton Lee, principal of Columbus North International School. “The reality is, as a society, we need future generations to be financially literate.  As an educator, I would like to have confidence that when my students get jobs and start businesses, they have all of the information they need to find long-term success.”

Manit Jain, a second-year in accounting and Moneythink mentor, said he chose to take a personal finance class in high school because he understood that a regimented lesson on finance would improve his current and future financial standings.

“No one really talks about these kind of things,” Manit said. “I think it’s one of the most undervalued skills in today’s society.”

Lee said he hopes that Moneythink will teach students to think ahead.
“I hope that Moneythink will get our students to … create a plan on how they will be able to pay off student loans, manage a job during college and even develop strategies on how to find the right internship or summer employment opportunity,” he said.

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