We are at the halfway mark! Week four has begun and is jam packed with many activities and field trips. The theme for this week is personal finance. What this means is that the students will learn the basics about how to achieve financial freedom. Although there is nothing basic about the process of becoming financially independent, the fellows have the opportunity to learn how to do so through immersive lessons from the curriculum.
One of the first and most important lessons that the fellows learned in personal finance was that you are responsible for your (financial) wellbeing. No one other than you can be accountable for you. This means that we all must work to benefit ourselves rather than dedicating our lives to making someone else wealthy. This can be fulfilled in many ways such as becoming an entrepreneur to making certain that we save regularly.
Secondly, the fellows learned that money is only a tool. It is something that can be used to acquire something that is more lasting and valuable. Also, it should not be something that rules our motives. The journey that is life is much more valuable and rich than any amount of money. With that said, it is important to stress that the pursuit of money is not bad, but it should not be at the cost of something more important such as relationships or your wellbeing.
Next, the students learned how to put their money to work by way of SMART goals. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely.
After the students chose what they believed were SMART goals, they had to follow more steps to achieve it. These steps include analyzing your situation, creating a plan, implementing the plan, and monitoring and modifying the plan. The goal of creating SMART goals is to show the students that there is a method that needs to be followed to do anything that they desire and to show that things may change and they need to be able to pivot their plans.
Finally, Monday ended with a visit from Drexel Business Professor Jodi Cataline. She teaches about finance, business, and consulting, which is a profession where people give detailed advice in different fields from law to engineering. She came to speak to the students about the importance of saving, how to differentiate between a job and a career, and analyzing their major strengths and weaknesses. She also will be returning to speak to the students about topics they wish to learn like stocks, college scholarships, real estate, and taxes.
This week the WesGold Fellows will be traveling to New York to learn more about the finance that helps run the economy. On the trip, they will be visiting Goldman-Sachs Investment Group, BlackRock Inc., the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and the New York Botanical Garden.