ALUMNUS Fall 2021 - Mississippi State University

Page 58

Our PEOPLE

MONEY TALKS

Children’s book from engineering alumnus works to build financial literacy By Susan Lassetter, Artwork by Warn Wilson Jr., Photo submitted

W

arn Wilson Jr. has a message for his future children. In the meantime, he plans to share it with as many young people as possible, so they can have the knowledge he wishes he had when he was younger. Through his new picture book, “Brown Money,” Wilson said he hopes to provide insight into earning and inspire children to fully explore their career and investment options as they grow. “Many young people in African American communities aren’t exposed to different ways to build wealth,” Wilson explained. “I wanted to write this book to share my experience and insight about multiple ways to make money and ways to make a living other than being an entertainer or professional athlete. “If you can do those things, that’s something to be proud of, but not everyone is going to be a YouTube star or sign a deal with Nike,” he continued. “I want to help kids realize ‘Hey, I can be an engineer’ or ‘Oh, I can be a real estate investor.’” Wilson’s book is written as a conversation between a father and his son during which the two discuss all of “Jay’s” options for after high school, including a variety of technical fields, trades and business endeavors. “Growing up, we’re told, ‘Go to college. Go to college. If you want a good life, go to college,’” Wilson explained. “But college isn’t for everyone and there are many professions that don’t require it and you can still do well for yourself. I want to help kids see those options and not feel like they have to fit into this one box.” A 2016 electrical engineering graduate, Wilson is no stranger to “thinking outside of the box.” By day, he is a manufacturing engineer with Elos Medtech in Memphis but afterhours, he is everything else. He is a selftaught barber and stock investor. He is founder

56

FALL 2021

“Many young people in African American communities aren’t exposed to different ways to build wealth. I wanted to write this book to share my experience and insight about multiple ways to make money." ~ Warn Wilson