ATLANTA — Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) and Charles Schwab Foundation have named 17-year-old Wendy Kha of Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco the 2016 National Ambassador for the Money Matters: Make it Count financial education program, which teaches the basics of personal finance and the importance of an early start to being financially responsible. The collaboration between BGCA and Charles Schwab Foundation started 13 years ago and has reached more than 650,000 Club teens to date. As the ninth annual National Money Matters Ambassador, Kha will serve as an advocate for expanding teens’ knowledge of money management to help them ultimately achieve financial independence and well-being.
Since the start of high school, Kha has participated in the Money Matters program at her Boys & Girls Club each year. With every lesson, Kha is given guidance and resources to hone her financial management skills in preparation for her college career. After her first year in the program, Kha became a counselor-in-training to mentor other teens about budgeting and managing their money. In addition, Kha has also applied the skills she learned in Money Matters to her leadership roles within the Club and during her time spent doing community service in 2016. The knowledge and behavior she gained from the program has helped her to successfully manage the budget for the Keystone Club, BGCA’s premier teen leadership program, where she served dual roles as treasurer and president. For Kha, budgeting time is also very important and enabled her to maintain a 4.1 GPA and do 300+ hours of community service this past year.
“Living in an urban environment with limited income for myself and my family, I understood the importance of money from an early age,” said Kha. “But the Money Matters program taught me healthy financial habits that I can apply in real life to positively impact my financial situation. The most influential lesson I learned is how to budget my expenses, distinguishing between wants and needs in order to save the money I earn for future investments. As a junior in high school, one of my current goals is to go to college to study for a career in accounting. Through Money Matters, I not only learned how to save my own money to make that dream a reality but also gained insights into opportunities available for financial assistance for higher education.”
As the 2016 National Ambassador for the Money Matters program, Kha’s goal of pursuing a college education in accounting is more attainable than ever as she will receive a $5,000 college scholarship from Charles Schwab Foundation. She also earned the opportunity to take part in Financial Literacy Day on Capitol Hill and the Jump$tart Annual Awards Dinner on April 5-6, 2016
“Our Money Matters National Ambassadors are selected based on their impressive achievements in acquiring and applying personal finance knowledge and skills, applying the values that BGCA instills, and demonstrating their commitment to sharing the importance of financial education with their peers,” said Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, president and board chair of Charles Schwab Foundation. “Wendy Kha has demonstrated success in both of these key areas, applying the skills she’s learned to reach her own personal goals while also helping teens at her Club understand how to strengthen their financial fitness.”
In addition to Kha, 10 other Boys & Girls Club teens will receive $1,000 scholarships for their outstanding personal finance leadership skills.
“Every year, Money Matters makes a profound impact on Boys & Girls Club teens by teaching them the building blocks of financial well-being,” said Jim Clark, president and CEO of BGCA. “From learning how to prioritize spending and budget monthly expenses to opening a savings account and applying for scholarships and grants, graduates of the program are equipped with the knowledge, tools and resources to make positive and informed decisions about their future.”
2016 $1,000 Scholarship Winners:
- Amiere Bell, Fort Drum CYS in Fort Drum, N.Y.
- Antonio Bell, Fort Drum CYS in Fort Drum, N.Y.
- Leticia Broussard, Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco
- Dishawn Cullen, Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta
- Elisha Dumas, Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta
- Hailey A. Gee, Boys & Girls Clubs of Iwakuni, Japan (USMC)
- Kemet Hartman, Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta
- Ebony Moody, Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco
- Lucio Ortiz, Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Nevada in Las Vegas, Nev.
- Malinda Williams, Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta
Since the program’s inception in 2004, nearly 650,000 Club teens have completed the program, and Charles Schwab Foundation has awarded more than $516,000 in scholarships to program participants who have demonstrated outstanding personal finance leadership skills.
About Charles Schwab Foundation
Charles Schwab Foundation is a private, nonprofit organization funded by The Charles Schwab Corporation. Its mission is to create positive change through financial education, philanthropy, and volunteerism. More information is available at www.aboutschwab.com/community. The Charles Schwab Foundation is classified by the IRS as a charity under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Foundation is neither a part of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (member SIPC) nor its parent company, The Charles Schwab Corporation. Charles Schwab Foundation and Boys & Girls Clubs of America are unaffiliated entities.
About Boys & Girls Clubs of America
For more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (GreatFutures.org) has enabled young people most in need to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, more than 4,100 Clubs serve nearly four million young people annually through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in cities, towns, public housing and on Native lands throughout the country, and serve military families in BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide. They provide a safe place, caring adult mentors, fun, friendship, and high-impact youth development programs on a daily basis during critical non-school hours. Priority programs emphasize academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. In a Harris Survey of alumni, 54 percent said the Club saved their lives. National headquarters are located in Atlanta.
About Charles Schwab
At Charles Schwab we believe in the power of investing to help individuals create a better tomorrow. We have a history of challenging the status quo in our industry, innovating in ways that benefit investors and the advisors and employers who serve them, and championing our clients’ goals with passion and integrity.