April is financial literacy month, which has, of course, made me think about the Girls Inc. Economic Literacy® program. Since I started my year of service at Girls Inc. of Greater Indianapolis, I have written many grant proposals asking for support for our Smart College and Career Planning programs, including Economic Literacy. It’s usually easy for me to write about our programs, especially the “Smart” programs—I love that Girls Inc. helps girls learn about college and discover careers that will help them become self-sufficient. To be honest, though, I originally had a hard time connecting to the Economic Literacy program. I think that’s because the term “economic literacy” seemed abstract—I wasn’t sure exactly what it was. Or maybe I had just forgotten that learning basic financial skills is a vital part of becoming economically self-sufficient. 

Whatever the reason, I found myself in need of a little inspiration. To get it, I turned to our collection of quotes and stories collected from girls who have participated in Economic Literacy programs. Here are a few of my favorite quotes, all left anonymously on the surveys girls complete at the end of their programs: 

  • “I learned how kids like me can help the needy.”
  • “I liked learning how to budget and save!” 
  • “We learned about banks, withdrawals, loans, and savings accounts.”
  • “I learned how to make a deposit.”
  • “I liked going into groups and talking about starting a business!”
  • “I learned how to balance your checkbook.” 
  • “I learned that need is what you need to live.  Want is what you just want because it is new.”

For the past several months, quotes like these have helped remind me of why our Economic Literacy program is so important for the girls in our community. We want girls to grow into confident, independent young women, and Economic Literacy helps make that possible. Girls learn money management skills that will help them succeed for the rest of their lives: they will be able to make a budget, pay their bills, borrow money from safe sources, and some may become successful entrepreneurs. That success certainly makes it easier to celebrate Economic Literacy this month. 

Have you seen an Economic Literacy program have a positive impact on a girl? Why do you think Economic Literacy is such an important program?