King confided his predicament, Mack helped him with budgeting and preparing for college. Making use of his time is the program, King has gone so far as to start his own event management business, Cash Advance Entertainment.
King and Hector are just two of the young people who have benefited from Mack’s program. With no external funding, Mack has vitally impacted the lives of his students by dedicating up to seven hours and spending anywhere from $50 to $100 each week. As for Mack’s vision for the future, he plans to file for non-profit status and formalize the program’s role within his firm. Further still, later this fall the National Association of Real Estate Brokers, an organization of minority real estate professionals, plans to help Mack launch his program in 10 U.S. cities, with possible international expansion.
Though he’s single and not yet a father, Mack’s passion for seeing African American children grow in financial wisdom is a clear example of Declaration of Financial Empowerment principle No. 7: I will ensure that my children receive a thorough education on financial and business matters. What inspires such devotion? “That’s easy,” says Mack. “Proverbs 22:6, ‘Train a child up in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it.’ ”
Teach your children about the consequences of taking on debt. Even children as young as 5 years old can develop an understanding about the cost of purchasing toys or other items using a loan. For example, you can buy a toy and draft an I.O.U. that must be repaid within a set period of time. For younger children, completing several chores could repay the debt. For older children, you can determine how much allowance must be earned and repaid to erase the debt. This can instill the kids with a sense of responsibility for their debt, and they’ll recognize the personal sacrifice required. Celebrate with them once the debt is repaid; this will help foster a sense of accomplishment in overcoming financial challenges.
Provide exposure to educational opportunities–both conventional and unconventional. Economic empowerment begins with education and access. Exposure to life’s possibilities is the single most important aspect of creating financially empowered youngsters. Take them on trips to visit other communities, cities, and colleges. Challenge them to understand that “their community” is not just their immediate surroundings. Allow them to take on new academic and work opportunities away from home, such as studying abroad or a summer internship out of state. It is crucial to help young people broaden their horizons intellectually, and socioeconomically.