2016 has been an exciting and formative year for Investing in Ourselves! By promoting positive lifestyle changes, we are helping businesses help their communities. We continue to empower small companies and local organizations with the knowledge and skills they need to teach physical and financial health, digital literacy, and nutrition to the people who need it most.
Investing in Ourselves is also the non-profit arm of the social enterprise Bridges to Wealth, an intergenerational program that provides free financial literacy classes to low-income high school students, parents, and seniors in Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Houston, and soon New York City. Our goal is to increase wealth in underserved communities by teaching key concepts like how to repair credit, how to save money and reduce debt, how to understand and navigate mutual funds, and how to protect savings and plan for the future. Our Wharton-based curriculum gives people equal access to vital business and life skills so they can grow their wealth.
Survey results from our 1,000+ participants indicate that:
• 90% are saving more money than they were 12 months ago
• 89% have increased the dollars invested in the stock market
• 69% feel more secure about their financial future
On a more personal note, Greg Gross and his mother Danica demonstrate the power of our intergenerational approach. After completing our course as part of his school curriculum, Greg was connected with a mentor from a Philadelphia-based investment firm to learn about career opportunities in the financial sector. Danica joined the Investing Club, which meets bi-weekly, at Boys’ Latin High School in West Philadelphia after attending one of our six-hour courses there. She invested nearly $500 for herself and her children in 2015. Her savings will help fund her children’s college education. More on our impact can be found in the video below.
We are thrilled about plans for expansion! Corporate sponsors like Franklin Square Investments in Philadelphia are funding replication of the program in community schools throughout the city. Additionally, Roc Nation, Jay Z’s entertainment company, together with Morgan Stanley has committed $65,000 to fund our expansion to New York City in 2017. I
Thank you for your support of our work and for your patience as we’ve evolved to maximize our impact. Your partnership is as important as ever.