This month, we wanted to share the basics of a groundbreaking program created by the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative. It’s called the Opportunity Passport™ and is a financial literacy and matched savings program for young people ages 14 to 26 who have experienced foster care. We are big proponents of empowering all young people with the financial savvy they will need to success on their own. This program teaches foster youth so much about how to handle and respect money; something most have never done on their own before. The Opportunity Passport™program:
Teaches youths about money, banking and assets
The program begins with Financial Capability Training. This is where kids learn how to manage their own money, budget, and set financial goals. Small-group classes are arranged throughout the year with partnering organizations working with young adults who are currently or were formerly in foster care.
Helps them open a savings account in their own name
After completing the first three Financial Capability training modules, staff members help them open their own savings account and even gets them started with $140 balance.
Matches their savings $1 for $1 up to $3,000 if certain criteria are met
The next step is for them to use the money to purchase one or more approved assets – things that will help them get on their way to independence and success. Assets include things like rent on an apartment, a vehicle, educational expenses or investments. Once an approved asset is purchased, Opportunity Passport™ starts matching their savings $1 for $1 (up to $3000).
We love the fact that this program imparts real-world, hands-on knowledge in a way that can be used immediately. Through this program, these kids start gaining financial confidence with solid guidance to help them make good financial decisions.
Way to go, Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative…this program is absolutely fantastic.