Ross Foundation Helps to Further Impact Financial Literacy Program for Teens

July 2, 2019

Ross Foundation’s generous gift is making a significant impact for financial literacy education. When The Pando Initiative first launched Reality U in 2002, we were only serving a few local schools, and now with community support, we are able to continue our growth into middle schools in addition to adding new schools throughout Kansas regularly.

During the 2017/18 school year, we hosted Reality U in three middle schools, and now we are delighted to say that 10 of the 15 USD 259 schools committed to making financial literacy a priority in their schools. Implementing these fundamental skills at an earlier age helps us to provide a “reality check” for students and provide them with the tools they need to steer them down a path to a successful future.  

We set a very high goal at the start of the year to get 90% of all the students in RU to take the online personalized survey. This survey reinforces the connection between GPA and career earnings, thus the need for as many students as possible to take the survey. At this point in the Reality U school year, we are on pace to hit that goal and so many students have made that connection. 

One student at Campus High had the “aha moment”  that best captures our efforts at getting the student to take the survey: I asked one young man how he was doing, and he responded by saying, "I ain't gonna make it."  When I asked him why, he said, "Well, my messing around in school just caught me and bankrupted me." He then said, without my prompting, "time to get my grades right..."

This sponsorship provides us with opportunities for continued growth in marketing, education and advocating for financial literacy in the school districts, and allows for support in training, technology and the overall success of Reality U. This school year over 8,500 students will experience Reality U. We are excited to demonstrate through our program how students can take charge of their futures and make the necessary changes early on to ensure a successful path through high school and beyond.

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