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People’s Community Action Corporation (PCAC) proudly presents ON THE MONEY MAGAZINE SAINT LOUIS! by OTM Team People’s Community Action Corporation(PCAC) is excited to bring On The Money Saint Louis Magazine to its programs and services for youth and young adults. This project provides a unique opportunity for young adults in St. Louis to work as journalists, photographers, bloggers and website developers. The team has worked hard to strengthen their existing skills and acquire the new skills needed to create a website, write weekly blog post, utilize social media, photography and create this magazine. “We support On the Money because we believe financial empowerment is essential for everyone. Commonly, people think that financial literacy is something low-income people need, when in reality, financial literacy is something that people from all walks of life need. You have many middle class people, as well as working class people that don’t know how to manage their savings and manage their daily finances. How you manage these things determines how you are going to spend the rest of your life. Do you want to spend your life working to pay off debt and never move ahead and fulfill your dreams? The financial literacy and tools that On the Money Magazine offers to the community will help young adults start early to understand what money is and how it impacts their life.”

People’s Community Action Corporation also provides other programs and services that empower youth and young adults. Some of the services provided are listed here: COLLEGE PREP- Interested in going to college but don’t know where to start? PCAC provides college prep programs, assistance to complete college applications, research and apply for scholarships, navigate financial aid and FAFSA, and college tours to allow you to visit out of town colleges. PROVIDING A WORKFORCE FOR THE FUTURE - Are you age 16-24 and looking for a job? Check out HireSmart, a PCAC program that trains and employs young adults in a variety of fields and employment experiences. According to Dr. Monica Stewart, Hire Smart Program Manager, the Hire Smart program employed more than eighty youth and young adults this summer. MANAGING ANGER- Being a teenager can be tough and frustrating at times. Many teens have trouble controlling their anger and emotions. Stress can hinder the success and achievement in a teenager’s life, and could result in a troubled teen getting kicked out of school or falling behind in their grades. PCAC offers anger management classes to provide different perspectives on anger and using that to fuel their futures. HELPING YOUTH THROUGH DIFFICULT TIMES - PCAC offers individual and group based counseling in some St. Louis Public Schools, to help students cope with emotionally trying issues and continue a pathway to achieve success. Their services are provided to help youth cope with dysfunctional environments, difficult situations, and to offer support to them and their family in times of need.

For more details about these and other PCAC programs, go to our On The Money Saint Louis -Mark Sanford, Executive Administrator of PCAC. website.

This program is funded in part by federal funds received from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Community Services Block Grant, as provided by the Missouri Department of Social Services Family Support Division.


GIVING TODAY’S KIDS A BETTER EDUCATION TOMORROW Learn about City Treasurer, Tishaura Jones’ College Kids program in St.Louis City schools

by Malaika Charrington

“I’m only trying to give the students hope.” Tishaura Jones Studies conducted by the CAAAB (Center for Acceleration of African-American Business) show that a staggering 33% of African Americans in Saint Louis are either unbanked or underbanked. However Tishaura Jones, the St. Louis city treasurer, is working to change that with her program, College Kids. College Kids is a college savings program where children entering kindergarten in St. Louis public and charter schools will receive a savings account containing $50, which will be used for college purposes. Based on the successful financial empowerment model, Kindergarten to College, founded in San Francisco by Treasurer Jose Cisneros, St. Louis has high expectations for the College Kids Program. The program is funded by parking meter revenue, and set to become a permanent fixture of the city’s budget.

“Students with bank accounts are three times more likely to go to college and four times more likely to graduate from college.”

This fall, Jones’ College Kids will partner with Wells Fargo, Vista Share, Corporation for Enterprise Development’s 1:1 Fundare, and the First Financial Credit Union (where the accounts will be hosted) and open 3,500 bank accounts. The program allows parents and guardians to add funds to bank accounts. However, neither the child nor the parent can access their bank account until they are preparing for college. The program will also offer the opportunity for students to earn extra money for their accounts by keeping good school attendance, maintaining good behavior, and by taking advanced classes. There will also be opportunities for parents to earn extra money for their children as well, for example, the organization is prepared to offer 50 more dollars in each account if the parents or guardians attend a financial literacy class. Although the program has been faced with some difficulties, such as the resistance from the Board of Aldermen in regards to the program’s sustainability and equity throughout the entire St. Louis region, Tishaura Jones is making a large difference for 3,500 children and their families with the start of her program College Kids. Building on a background as a public servant, financial services professional, and educator, Tishaura O. Jones was sworn in as Treasurer of St. Louis on January 1, 2013. She is the first woman to hold the office in the history of St. Louis. Treasurer Jones is the chief investment and cash management officer of the city. During her first year in office, she saved the city money by making smart investment decisions and helped hundreds of city employees obtain access to bank services by making direct deposit mandatory. She also launched a monthly Lunch and Learn Series for city employees designed to teach them about financial literacy. Treasurer Jones enjoys an active volunteer career as a member of the St. Louis Metropolitan Alumnae chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She also sits on the boards of Wyman, The Independence Center, and People’s Community Action Corporation.

Treasurer, City of St. Louis, MO 3

CONTENTS This magazine was produced by young adults from the Greater St. Louis area.





Kevin Le

Najee Person Dominigue Shields Alashia Trotter Lisa Potts Program Director Andrew Johnson Project Lead/ Creative Director


Grace Gerbi

ConTina May



Malaika Charrington

Quinton Le


5 10 16 22 30

Emil Beckford


Ashley Johnson Lead Designer Winnie Caldwell Editor | Content Manager RC Patterson Editor ONTHEMONEYSTL.ORG


BANK ACCOUNT by Malaika Charrington and Grace Gerbi Illustration by Najee Person Opening a bank account, be it checking or savings, is a great way to learn financial responsibility and money management skills. These skills will help prepare you for the future. Follow these simple steps to open up an account: 1. Find a bank or credit union that is best for you. (See pg. 30 for all the bank partners in Bank On, Save Up St. Louis). Look for banks with ATM’s and locations in your area so you can use services, cash checks, and make deposits without fees. Eligibility: If you’re younger than 18, most banks will allow you to open a Custodial Account, an account where your parent or guardian has access. A parent or guardian will need to be with you to open this account. You will need to bring identification (a driver’s license or school ID) and the minimum amount of money for opening a bank account. This varies from bank to bank, so do your research! 2. Decide what kind of account you want. Here are the basics: Checking Accounts: A deposit account that offers features like a debit card, direct deposit, online banking, ATM withdrawals and more. Checking accounts allow you to easily deposit and withdraw money that you earn. It’s almost like using cash (as you can only spend what you have) but safer because the money is in the bank. • Most checking accounts are free and there are different types at each bank. • If you spend more money than you have, you will have to pay an Overdraft Fee that typically ranges from $15-$35 for every overdrawn transaction. So be careful and watch how much you spend! Savings Accounts: This account is used mainly to build up a long-term or short-term savings. It’s great to keep extra savings for things that are important or in case of emergencies—such as fixing your car, buying a new phone, or assisting a family member in need. Most savings accounts do not earn much interest these days, but it’s always good to have reserves. It is best if you have enough money to get both a checking and savings account. That way you have an account where you can save money and another where you can spend. Always pay yourself first and try to put away money each paycheck, even if it’s a small amount. 3. Most banks are ready to help you open an account anytime. Here are some good questions to ask your banker: What is the minimum amount I have to keep in my bank account? What is the fee for going under that amount? Does this checking account have online banking features? Are there mobile apps I can use to check my account? Where can I make deposits? Are there any programs to help me save? How much does my account collect in interest? How many times can you withdraw without paying a fee? How many checks do I get, and how do I order more? Not too hard, right? So take the leap! Get your money out from underneath your mattress and invest it in a bank or credit union that you trust. FINANCE 5




by Alashia Trotter, Malaika Charrington and Quinton Le photo by Kevin Le and Malaika Charrington You just got your paycheck and want the money fast. After all, the new KD’s come out tomorrow. But before you hit the check cashing spot, ask yourself-- do you want to pay a business money just to get back the money you earned? Check cashing is a huge industry, particularly in low-income areas. Approximately 25% of families in the United States don’t have bank accounts and 63.2% of those households use services like check cashing or payday loans (FDIC, 2013). In 2014, there were $58.3 billion in check cashing transactions worldwide (FiSCA, 2014). Estimating an average fee of 3%, that’s $1.7 billion taken from people’s paychecks just to use money they earned. REASONS TO AVOID CHECK CASHING SERVICES: 1. Cashing a $1,500 check at a check cashing service will cost you $30. If you do this every other week when you get paid, by end of the year you would have spent over $780 in check cashing fees alone. 2. What else could you do with over $780? You could maybe save half of the $780 for emergencies and the other half you could invest or save for things like college books, tuition, car insurance, or the other things you need in life. Banks should be your friends. They charge nothing to cash a check, so go open up a bank account quick then make a quilt out of all the money you’ll be saving! Look around and search different banks to decide which one fits you best. You’ll have more money in your pocket after cashing your check, that’ll be for whatever you decide to do.

PAY UP! PAYDAY LOANS AND THE CYCLE OF DEBT by Alashia Trotter, Malaika Charrington and Quinton Le We all have rainy days, when it seems as if everything is going wrong. One of easiest things that can turn a sunny day gray is money. Maybe one day, something goes wrong and you’ll need money fast for an emergency. Maybe your car needs work, or food is running low. Maybe you ran your phone bill through the roof. Whatever the circumstances, there will always be things that come up that you may not be prepared for. Often, payday loans can seem like a fast fix to your financial emergencies. However, with convenience often comes a high price that, in many cases, can turn your quick fix into a long term folly. Before you take out that payday loan, consider this: 1. Payday loans are small loans lent at very high interest rates. Typically, they have a short loan life, with most loans needing to be paid back in full by the borrower’s next payday. If not paid back completely at the end of the loan life, the borrower can almost always count on paying more than they borrowed. 2. Payday Loans have huge interest rates over time, and often it’s difficult to pay back the amount you got in the time given by the lender. Most loans have a two week turnaround, causing the loans to renew if not paid back, compounding fees and interest. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau reports that over 80% of payday loans are rolled over or followed by another loan within 14 days. 3. Short loan life means big interest payments, some up to 500% with all things considered. Remember, interest is the amount it costs you to borrow money. Although the interest rate may initially be 15%, the annual percentage rate (APR) significantly spikes if the life of the loan is very short but the repayment plan is long. Check this out when $500 is borrowed!

15% x $500= $75 $75 / 14 days = $5.35


in interest charged to you to take out the loan. per day over the two week life of the loan. the total amount you now owe.

After bills, you can’t seem to catch up.

Let’s say it takes a year to pay the entire loan back. So that’s $5.35 per day x 365 days= $1,952.75 + $500 balance = $2, 452.75 You now owe nearly

500% more money than you originally borrowed.

You wouldn’t agree to take a $500 loan from a friend if you knew you’d have to pay back $2,000 in a year, so why would you do this with a payday lender? 4. Additionally, if you can’t make your payment, it will be rolled over into a new bill with a new loan fee. Your new fee can increase by up to $35 each time you miss a payment (depending on the lender), adding more to your debt and more to the balance you owe at a high interest rate. In general, it’s best to stay away from payday loans completely. With all of these costs, they can often make your financial situation much more complicated in the long run. Avoid this hardship by going to a bank and opening a bank account or seek assistance to make a budget, create a savings plan, and more. Go to to be connected to banks and financial partners who want to help you. FINANCE 7

The Dropout Dilemma


by Malaika Charrington, Grace Gerbi, Emil Beckford and ConTina May Illustration by Najee Person If you’re thinking about dropping out, STOP what you’re doing and read this article. Education is one of the most valuable things that a person can gain to better themselves. However, nearly 7,000 high school students discontinue their right to obtain education in a classroom setting on a daily basis. In St. Louis city, the dropout rates have fluctuated quite a bit in the last five years. Over the past five years the highest dropout rate was in 2011, at 19.8%. The lowest rate was in 2013 at 9.2%. This year, the dropout rate has been 18.7%. This means that over 1,300 of the 7,100 St. Louis city high school students drop out annually. You’ll have less in the bank…

of the workforce. In 2014, more than 30% of high school dropouts were unemployed (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014). and a greater need for government assistance. It’s estimated that half of all Americans on public assistance or government aid are high school dropouts (EdWeek, 2013), so dropping out and living on your own may not entail living on your own. Behind Bars In the United States, high school dropouts commit about 75% of crimes (PBS, 2013). With incarceration rates that high, it’s almost certain that smiling for your diploma is better than smiling for your mugshot.

A high school dropout will earn $200,000 less than a high school graduate over his or her lifetime (U.S. Census, 2002). In comparison to a college graduate, Below the Line the difference is almost a million dollars over a lifetime. Among those between the ages of 18 and 24, dropouts were more than twice as likely as … and much smaller paychecks. college graduates to live below the poverty line (Northeastern University, 2009). Without an It is estimated that dropouts bring in just $20,241 education and a plan, it’s extremely easy to lose it annually, which is $10,000 less than high school all. graduates and nearly $36,000 less than a person holding a bachelor’s degree (EdWeek, 2013). Your The next time you find yourself feeling like school is paycheck and your diploma go hand in hand. too much to deal with -- instead of dropping out, consider your future. Seek counseling or find a tutor There’ll be a higher chance of unemployment... to help you deal with high school anxiety. Four years of high school isn’t nearly as bad as a future Often, dropping out of school means you’re out without a high school diploma. 8 FINANCE



PERSONAL FINANCE Financial apps to help you budget, save and manage in the digital era.

Can’t keep track of your spending or need to put your spending habits on a diet? We’ve reviewed these apps for that very purpose, to make sure your wallet doesn’t suffer from a severe case of deflation!


by Kevin Le and Quinton Le BillGuard is a free app on the iPhone and Android you can download in order to track your transactions. It shows exactly what has been charged on your credit card, allowing you to spot purchases and fees that should not be there while allowing you to check off purchases you do authorize. If you find a charge you were unaware of, the app has a feature that lets you report or contact the merchant about the offending charge in order to fix the problem. The app can also show whether or not a certain merchant is to be trusted through the reporting function connected to other people who use the app. Wally is another free app on the iPhone (Wally+ on the Android). This one allows you to watch your income and expenses but unlike BillGuard, it is not connected directly to your credit card and you have to enter your purchases yourself. When connected to location services, it can categorize these purchases so you know what type of item you purchased. Wally also can help you build a budget and stick to it, create financial goals and plans to reach them, and even notify you about upcoming bills! The app can also get used to your habits and can predict what you want in order to save time. Mvelopes, the debt eliminator, will be your best friend in times of financial crisis. Known for its immense, God-like budgeting tools, Mvelopes allows the recovery of, on average, 10% of one’s income from unintentional and unnecessary spending. The revolutionary masterpiece, as indicated by the 2006 World Class Award (one of The 100 Best Products of the Year), is almost guaranteed to eliminate anyone’s debt and grant incredible savings. Overall, this high-caliber, fundamental app will instantly and significantly recover your livelihood. Your troubled mind will now enter a phase of relaxation as your financial empire, freed from its war debts, will transform into utopia. Keeping your hard-earned money is made simple by downloading Mint, the free, financially-focused reminder and tracker app. Organizing credit card payments, bank accounts, and bills, Mint allows users to create practical, customizable budgets while offering substantial security. FINANCE 9


Let’s face it: while living on your own, you may get a little wild. No parents, no rules, right? WRONG. Money doesn’t grow on those trees in the quad. Here are our simple-ish steps to help you avoid going broke your first week of college. by Malaika Charrington, Grace Gerbi and Emil Beckford Photos by Emil Beckford and Malaika Charrington

Start saving now! Having a savings account is always a necessity. In addition to being a secure place for you to store money, it can also hold enough for an emergency or some unexpected need. You’ll even be getting A RETURN ON YOUR SAVINGS if your bank offers an interest rate on the money you deposit!

The student struggle gets you discounts! Like music? Spotify offers one year of student discount for only $4.99 a month. Tidal also has 50% discounts on each of their services, offering their regular service for $4.99 and their lossless audio service for $9.99 a month. Like movies? Instead of going out, use Amazon Student! Students can even get a six month free trial of Amazon Prime and continue their service after the trial for $49 a year. That’s less than $5 a month! Some schools may even let you put some financial aid money towards the cost of a computer and other school related technology, so do some research to see where you can save money. 10 EDUCATION

Let technology do the work. Using budgeting tools like, Billguard, Mvelopes and Wally (featured on page 9) is one of the best and easiest ways to ensure that you are not going over your spending limit for the month, guaranteeing that you aren’t using more money than you can pay back. Trust us, you don’t want to add on to your debt from student loans.

Don’t spend too much dough on the fly. Shop with a list in mind, and only buy items that you need or know you’ll use. Install Cozi, an app that keeps track of schedules and activities, or the Out of Milk app, that makes grocery lists and helps you stick to them at the store. If you live on campus, use your meal plans to eat in order to save money.

Make your own coffee. You can avoid spending money in cafes by making your own coffee. Purchasing a long-lasting coffee maker is likely to save much more money in the

8 3


long run. Maybe it won’t taste exactly the same, but you could potentially save hundreds of dollars annually. If giving up your favorite coffee joint isn’t an option, join a rewards program so you can get rewards for spending.

Gift money? You’ll need it later. Large amounts of money from holidays or birthdays don’t always have to go straight in your pocket for spending. Put a portion in your savings account. You’ll be glad you did it.

Leave your car at home.

activities-- take advantage of this cheaper fun to limit your transportation costs.

Get rid of those textbooks. For the 2010-2011 school year, a student could expect to spend over $1,110 per year on textbooks (College Board). Be sure to keep your books in the best condition possible so that you can get some of your book money back. Websites like ValoreBooks. com and offer the cheapest textbooks to rent or buy, while also providing a safe platform for you to sell your textbooks.

By following our simple steps, you’re sure to Gas and student parking fees can be very expensive. save lots of money and cut down on unnecessary Look into your college’s shuttle services and public spending by the time your college years are done. transportation, use a bike, or take full advantage of your car-owning friends. If you do have a car, limit the amount you go out so it doesn’t impact your wallet as much. College campuses have a variety of



by Myles Bastain and ConTina May


lot of students and their families are becoming discouraged with higher education due to high tuition costs and mountains of debt. College Bound, a nonprofit organization aiming to make college more affordable by providing financial classes, access to scholarships, ACT prep and a supportive team to motivate their students to continue onto postsecondary education. College Bound molds their students into budgeting masters so they gain the skills to better manage their finances throughout their college careers.

academic goals as students from higher income levels in the program. Throughout their entire high school experience, College Bound preps students for college and adulthood. At the start, they teach financial skills and literacy for the college process. When junior year comes around, prepping for the ACT is thrown into the mix. ACT prep becomes the major focus at this time with help ranging from individual instruction to a free official test. During senior year, the focus shifts to the college admissions process. While it can be very frustrating, the coaches are nothing but supportive and helpful the entire way through. After graduating and going to college, you can continue in the college completion program to support you throughout your entire college career.

College Bound was founded by Lisa Orden Zarin, who created the program while helping her son navigate the college admissions process. Though her son had a lot of support, she realized that other students are not as fortunate. Lisa wondered how they handle the process. According to College College Bound is located at 110 North Jefferson right Bound, before the organization was founded, only here in St. Louis. To get involved, call 9% of low income students were graduating from 314-361-4441. college as opposed to 75% of high income students. Although that gap seemed impossible to bridge, Lisa wanted to do something about it. The program started in 2006 with only two school districts and 36 students participating. By the 2012-2013 school year, the program had grown to 1700 students. Now, through College Bound, students from the poorest backgrounds are achieving the same

Infinite Scholars is the nation’s largest organizer of college scholarship fairs. Don’t miss an opportunity to meet with colleges and universities about scholarship opportunities. Some colleges will be accepting students and awarding scholarships on the spot. Our fairs in St. Louis will be held on September 19, 2015 at SLU’s Chaifetz Arena 1505 Market Street St. Louis, MO 63103. To learn more about our fairs, visit our website at 12 EDUCATION



My mom had a surprise for me at the end of the summer freshman year: a college preparation program known as College Bound. You probably could imagine my face when she said that. I just knew that it was going to be a boring program whose main objective was to bore kids to death. Boy, was I wrong. I made connections with classmates ‘right off the bat’ and I still keep in contact with those same people. College Bound has some of the best coaches/ mentors anyone could ever have. They pressed me to make sure I was taking the necessary steps to be successful and they worked off the clock to handle personal problems. We worked non-stop, but it paid off in the end. Through financial courses, workshops, and extensive ACT Prep classes, I was better prepared for transitioning into college. College Bound, to me, is more than just a program, it’s a family.

At the end of the summer of my freshman year of high school, my mom signed me up for College Bound. I was not amused or excited. I was thinking, “it’s just another program to keep me busy and out of trouble.” My first day, I was quiet and only talked to my best friend who was also in the program. I didn’t know what to expect and I really didn’t understand my purpose there. I knew their goal was to make sure we went to college, but as a sophomore in high school, that was the last thing on my mind. It turned out my college career was coming faster than I expected. College Bound was there the entire way through, from prepping for the ACT to applying for scholarships and colleges. Not only do they make the process a lot easier, they also try to make it a lot cheaper. Sometimes it was through paying for college application fees, other times it was providing a free ACT administered test. College Bound is very big on saving money for students before, during, and after college. As a college student now, I can say they have made my educational career a lot easier.



The EDUCATION investment

THE EFFECT OF EDUCATION SPENDING ON FUTURE WEALTH AND PROSPERITY by Kevin Le and Quinton Le graphs by Kevin and Quinton Le An excellent education opens the door to a great job and a nice amount of money. So why doesn’t the U.S. spend more on education? According to our research, people who live in education-oriented countries make more money over a lifetime. Looking at the graphs to the right, although the U.S. boasts a higher national GDP because of its larger population, Luxembourg citizens, on average, have a much higher GDP per capita due to its government spending on education. Luxembourg spends about twice the amount the United States spends on education for each student. Although tax money spent on education isn’t the only factor influencing GDP per capita, it certainly shows the significant influence education can have on your success. Within the United States, Missouri is ranked below average in education, spending just $9,600 per student, while being slightly above average in terms of ACT (American College Testing) scores. Meanwhile, Massachusetts, a state that spends about $14,500 per student, is at the top of ACT leaderboards. The trend that more money spent on education results in a better education does indeed exist, though there are other factors that affect education as well. Simply throwing money into education doesn’t always make a difference. In conclusion, education is an essential factor in a country’s health. Without the educational development of students, future generations would not be able to keep up with the educationally focused world. The best course of action for the United States is to find out what factors will improve education by looking at successful schools, and then strike the perfect balance in the realm of education spending.



GDP per Capita vs Tax Money Spent per Person (Education) Tax Money (edu)

US Canada

GDP per capita

Belgium United Kingdom France Germany Spain Luxembourg Norway Ireland Japan Austrailia $0.00





The chart shows a positive correlation between the tax money spent on education and the gross domestic product (GDP) per capita (how much is produced divided by how many people live in the country in a given period of time). Therefore, the more tax money the U.S. spends on education, the more money Americans are likely to make over a lifetime.


GDP per Capita vs Tax Money (edu) in Countries LUXEMBOURG

GDP per capita






$0.00 $0.00





Tax Money Spent per Person on Education See that tiny blue dot at the top right of the graph above? That’s Luxembourg. Most other nations, fall in the cluster of blue dots in the middle. EDUCATION 15

o t d r a


by ConTina May

Are you or your child interested in being a part of a sports organization, but concerned about the finances? Here are a few tips to handle finances to rack up points, not debt.

1. 2.


Your team should have a budgeting plan in the beginning of the season determining the cost of the entire season. Include everything in this budget, like uniforms, shoes, equipment, locations for games or tournaments, gas and travel expenses, league fees and any other necessary expenses.


There are several ways to fundraise as a team for the short term and long term. Some common ways are TJ’s Pizza fundraisers, car washes, sporting events, concession stands and bake sales. TJ’s Pizza is a business that give teams the opportunity to raise money by selling pizzas and desserts to the community. This, paired with a few car washes on the weekends, can be an easy way to make money during the off-season. You can also get creative and use your unique talents to raise money. For example, my basketball team solicited pledges from our friends and families for every shot we made during games or events. The donors chose how much they would pay for each shot made and we organized a charitable event out of this idea. To double your profit at an event like this, grab a few parent volunteers and set up a concession stand. You can also do this at games as well. Sell healthy snacks like fruit, homemade popcorn, granola and juice that can be purchased or made inexpensively and sold for a healthy profit.




4. 5.


If possible, athletes should pick up some extra work to earn funds for their team. Help your parents in any way possible, whether it’s cutting grass for money or finding a part-time job. Or help beautify your community while making money. Pick a day that all teammates are available, and go out into the community. To start, print some flyers and hang them up or pass them out to your neighbors. Do yard work, shovel snow, wash cars, help neighbors move, clean up someone’s backyard, or ask about any other tasks that community members want done. Pool your money at the end and donate to the team’s collective fund. It can be difficult to balance school and sports, let alone with a job, but if you feel like you are organized and can handle an intense schedule then go for it! Of course, be careful and always have a parent go with you, especially when working for people you don’t know.

Working as a team really does pay off. Brands such as Nike, Adidas, Russell and Under Armor sponsor teams that they know will represent their brand well. If you cannot get these international brands to sponsor your team, find some local companies who would be interested in investing in your organization in exchange for their logo on your jersey or other promotion.


Court and gym time can be very costly. Often, local organizations are willing to help athletes and younger teams, so work with your community and team leader to find the proper setting to practice in. Talk to all of the local organizations in your neighborhood. Parks, recreation centers, schools and even churches can be safe and reliable places to practice for organizations. If you’re lucky, you may be able to get the space for free. ENTREPRENEURSHIP & ECONOMICS 17

FrOM potato to profit

THE SWEET POTATO PROJECT SPARKS ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN NORTH ST. LOUIS by Malaika Charrington and Emil Beckford photos by Andrew Johnson


very community has roots, but the Sweet Potato Project is an organization that is taking those roots and turning them into a profit. By converting vacant lots into land to grow sweet potatoes that are used to make cookies and other products, students learn about community development, agriculture and sustainability. Once potatoes are harvested, they convert the produce into cookies that are sold throughout the region. Throughout this process, students participate in nearly every aspect of planting, harvesting, producing, packaging and selling a product, all while contributing directly to development of their community. Sylvester Brown, the Sweet Potato Project’s founder, hopes that the program can boost economic activity in North St. Louis. “Our mission is to transform long-neglected neighborhoods, create jobs and spur small business growth for youth, adults and communities at large,” says Brown. “Back in the day, there was a time when we had no choice but to do business with each other. We need to rebuild that feeling, that sense of trust in the black community. We need to stop being so afraid of saying ‘I’m going to invest in Black.’ You invest in Black and you will eradicate or alleviate a lot of the issues that are attached to not investing in Black-- to ignoring black, to dismissing and denying Black and to locking up black people. You’ve created… vicious cycles that do nothing but waste lives and waste money.”

the Sweet Potato Project is transforming disadvantaged neighborhoods into communities with stability and jobs. Through the program, Brown provides an encouraging environment to foster entrepreneurship and training on essential financial skills for student participants. Students then take those skills to the streets and become business owners in their own right. In turn, their communities become self-reliant and empowered. “We destroy the image of black kids being a nuisance or being threatening… we show an image of a kid planting a sweet potato, harvesting a sweet potato… a kid walking with a notebook taking notes about how to improve their community… It counters that narrative that’s always out there,” remarked Brown. To keep the program moving, the Sweet Potato Project utilizes grants, several individual (tax deductible) donations, and corporation donations. However, the program’s largest money maker is the products themselves. “What we’ve learned is we got to make our own money. We have to find a way for these kids to sell enough that we can bring in 20 or 25 thousand dollars,” Brown said, in order to support the program’s core functions and grow every year.

The Sweet Potato Project acts as a resource for North St. Louis communities as it works to restore economic activity, provide locally grown produce, and prepare the next generation of business leaders. “We want to do it ourselves… We want to be empowered to say I’m going to give this teenager The Sweet Potato Project aims to reverse those a job... We want to be empowered to say that trends. By having students promote urban farming, the money that we make here stays here in the develop unused land into profitable agricultural community.” Because of their hard work, the young ground, learn business skills, and make choices that adults of North St. Louis are helping to pull the help develop and beautify low-income communities, entire St. Louis community into a more profitable future.

For more information, see

FROM STATISTIC TO ENTREPRENEUR In the United States, nearly 1,048 students drop out of high school every day (NCES, 2014). Often, because of our competitive economy, high school dropouts are forced to settle for lower paying jobs, increased chances of unemployment, or receiving government assistance. Then, there are others like Jason Bockman, who manage to overcome the odds and carve a path to success and entrepreneurship. Many know Jason Bockman as the successful co-owner of local donut shop, Strange Donuts. But before Strange Donuts, Bockman was one of those 1,048 students who drop out daily. “I was in trouble a lot,” says Bockman, “I was in and out of being locked up, and then by the time that I quit getting in trouble, I didn’t have enough credits, and I was like ‘I’m gonna be twenty by the time I get out of high school, so I’m done.’” As in the case of many dropouts, Bockman’s situation and circumstances created barriers to completing high school. After dropping out, Bockman was unaware of how to further his education. “I didn’t even know how you went to college. I just thought that people got picked. I didn’t know that you applied. I had no idea and no one really talked about education,” Bockman stated. As he got older, Bockman found that he was in a rut. With no one in his life to change his mindset or help him along at the time, it took him nearly four years to realize the value in it. 20 ENTREPRENEURSHIP & ECONOMICS

“Some people I knew were going away to college, getting scholarships and playing sports. Their lives were moving along, but mine was staying the exact same.” He lacked education and the sense of direction that often accompanies it, until he met people who showed him the importance of education. “Later on I got some mentors. They kept kicking me in the butt telling me ‘keep going, keep going,’ and it was frustrating,” says Bockman. These people, many of whom were business owners, became his driving force. They encouraged him to go back to school where he eventually obtained not only his GED, but a college diploma. They also encouraged him to start his first business (a hot dog vending business) and eventually, Strange Donuts with co-owner Corey Smale. “I used to get embarrassed around people who knew I was ‘this dropout’, but I feel like life just kind of catches up.” Jason Bockman reinvented himself from the man with only a 9th grade education to a graduate of Washington University and successful business owner. It just goes to show that with dedication, education, and support, anything is possible. For students considering dropping out of high school, Bockman offers this kind and helpful advice --

“Have a plan,” he says. “People leave and go to the military, or they have a job waiting for them.” Some students drop out, get their GED, and continue on to a community college or a four-year institution. But this isn’t always the case. Bockman continues, “More and more often, it’s a necessity to have a high school education, or even a college education to get a job where you’re making money. ” By defying the statistics, Jason’s story shows that dropping out of high school does not have to mean a lifetime of low-paying jobs. His story also demonstrates that education is crucial to success, even if it comes later in life. Now, Jason is working to give back to the youth in the community through Strange Donuts’ nonprofit organization, Strange Cares . This organization is aimed at providing youth involved in Big Brothers, Big Sisters, The Children’s Heart Foundation, and Girls On the Run with scholarships to pay for tuition for private high school, college, camp and trainings that help further their potential for success. Strange Cares works to mold children and help them to reach their fullest potential. They even offer scholarships to help young people achieve their “strange” dreams, whether they want to go to college, pursue art, or become entrepreneurs! Strange Donuts is located at 2709 Sutton Blvd. in Maplewood. Catch them on Twitter and Instagram @strangedonuts




by Alashia Trotter, Dominique Shields photos courtesy of Lareisa Griner

A lot of us probably know someone who works or has worked a job for minimum wage. But you may not know about a new campaign, the Fight For 15, that has been organizing fast food and service workers around the country to demand a $15 minimum wage and the right to unionize. Fight For 15 was founded in 2012 after a major demonstration of fast food workers in New York City demanding higher wages. Now a national movement in 200 U.S. cities, Fight For 15 has targeted their demands to international corporations such as McDonald’s and Walmart-demanding that companies raise the minimum wage to $15.00 per hour. This movement is occurring right here in St. Louis.

“I have gone on strike several times because I believe all work has dignity.” -Candice Fight For 15 has been successful in Los Angeles, Massachusetts, Oakland, San Francisco, Seatac, and Seattle. Negotiations are currently in progress in New York City and St. Louis for minimum wage increases. Fight for 15’s work has paid off in St. Louis. According to, Mayor Slay is publically supporting a new piece of legislation that would raise the minimum wage to $15 by the year 2020. According to St. Louis Public Radio, this 22 CULTURE

bill has since been passed by the St. Louis Board of Aldermen. However, many have noted potential pitfalls in the legislation, including that it excludes workers like employees with disabilities, full time students, students in work study, and more. St. Louis politicians are still working out the details and final approval is still tentative.

“This [protesting] is something I had to do. I’m African American, and this could be anyone I know. I just can’t let it go on any longer.” - Shermale The Fight for 15’s main demand is for corporations like McDonald’s to increase their minimum wage to $15 per hour-- an important increase to help keep up with the ever increasing cost of living. Just as everyday costs rise, so should wages. However, the minimum wage offered at many service jobs lags far behind the cost of living, making each dollar worth less and less each year. This is known as the purchasing power of a dollar. When costs rise, but wages don’t, your dollar’s worth decreases. “Today’s average hourly wage has just about the same purchasing power as it did in 1979” (Pew, 2014).

“I work at McDonald’s in St. Louis. I make

$7.65, and I’ve been trying to support myself “I think $15 an hour would help the families on minimum wage since I was 16. I know living in these wards out here living in from experience that $7.65 is not enough for a poverty… Getting $15? It’d be positive person to support themselves.” - Miles because we would spend our money in community stores and keep money rollin.” Raising the minimum wage would help families - Landry supplement the government assistance that many fast-food workers rely on to meet their monthly expenses. For example, a recent UC Berkeley (2013) study found that “52% of front-line fast food workers are enrolled in one or more public programs, at a cost of nearly $7 billion each year.”

“ Even with three people working, we don’t make enough money to support ourselves. We need $15 now, so that we don’t have to rely on food pantries, government assistance, and churches when our checks don’t cover the basics.” - LaTasha Additionally, more income means more spending, helping to promote community development and local economies. One study by the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank (2011) found “minimum wage increases raise incomes and increase consumer spending, especially triggering car purchases… for every dollar increase for a minimum wage worker results in $2,800 in new consumer spending... over the following year.”

As the Fight for 15 continues to campaign in cities across the nation, their message sparks an important discussion about the value of service jobs and those who fill them in our economy. Economic progress cannot solely be measured by those at the top. Indeed, our measure of success must also include the success and well being of the lowest paid workers as well.

“We live in these communities so the money [we make] is ultimately going to go back to smaller business and bigger businesses. All the money is going to come back around and I feel it will get people off the street as well… they won’t really have a reason to move dope and sell drugs because they’ll have an opportunity to do it the right way… If you give them the opportunity to live the right way, they’ll take that opportunity.” - Mike


ballin’ on a budget Free places in St. Louis by Alashia Trotter, Myles Bastain, and Emil Beckford photos by Myles Bastain and Emil Beckford

Getting out of the house doesn’t have to break the bank. No matter what you’re into, St. Louis has enough free attractions that all you’ll have to worry about on your next trip out is having fun.

PARKS If you want to get away from the traditional park

experience, go to Citygarden, the small sculpture park in Downtown. Citygarden has 24 sculptures, including Igor Mitoraj’s “Eros Bendato,” Erwin Wurm’s “Big Suit,” and a 14-foot long Video Wall. There are also two pools and a Sprinkler Plaza for the kids to enjoy. With its close proximity to Busch Stadium, restaurants, The Westin St. Louis, and Park Ave. Coffee, Citygarden has become one of St. Louis’ most visited destinations.

past, Jaws, Field of Dreams and Grease, among others, have been featured. Space Jam, Little Rascals and The Sandlot were also shown this summer. As long as you’re 18 or with someone 18 or older, you’ll get in with no problem. If you want to get closer to the action, the Blues’ and the Rams’ public practices are free if you want to drop in at St. Louis Outlet Mall’s Ice Zone or the Rams Park in Earth City.


Check out Laumeier Sculpture Park if you like Citygarden’s art and want to see more, but also want Although the Delmar Loop has a variety of fashion some trails to walk on. boutiques and restaurants, it isn’t necessary to dig in your pockets (unless you’re famished and dehydrated from all of the walking). The culture and events are what gives the Loop life, ranging from Mondays are the worst, but if the Cardinals are out small town performers in Vintage Vinyl (music of town on a Monday, Ballpark Village becomes a store) and open mic night at Fitz’s, to live shows at movie theater. Mondays are looking better already the Pageant. The Loop also has a St. Louis Walk of right? On Movie Mondays, some of the greatest Fame which shows famous people who are from St. blasts from the past play on the big screen. In the Louis. 24


Can’t access the Delmar Loop? No worries! The Central West End and Union Station are also great places to walk through if you want to stay closer in the city.

ARTS For the frugal thespian, The Muny is the place to

be. For 97 years, the outdoor theater has been a premiere destination for quality productions in St. Louis. Since the Muny offers free seating, everyone has the chance to take in a show. According to dancer Brian Seckfort, “While the seats aren’t like being front row, the sound, sights, and experience are not lessened.” This season has seen My Fair Lady, Hairspray, Into the Woods, Oklahoma! and Beauty and the Beast. If you’re more of a music lover, Twilight Tuesdays at the Missouri History Museum features a variety of groups, ranging from the Broseph E. Lee Band to a Motown Revue, that are sure to bring the house down.



Check out what celebs are making an impact

from Hollywood to STL

by Dominique Shields and Alashia Trotter We all see how much money celebrities make. Some of us may think, “All these rich people do is carelessly spend their money on whatever their heart’s desire!” That’s not true for all celebrities. Tabloids are often full of gossip, negativity and some of the horrifying decisions celebrities have made. We decided to highlight our six favorite (charitable) celebrities and the valuable decisions they’ve made.

Taylor Swift

On September 21, 2007, Taylor Swift launched a campaign to protect children from online predators known as, “Delete Online Predators.” Swift also released the single “Welcome to New York” and donated all proceeds from the song to New York City Public Schools. Swift also actively participates in nonprofits such as ACM Lifting Lives, Children in Need, Clothes Off Our Back, DonateMyDress, DoSomething, FHI 360, GRAMMY Foundation, and Habitat For Humanity.

Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus has encouraged her younger fans to serve their communities. The Happy Hippie Foundation is a non-profit founded by Miley to serve young people that are homeless. According to, “Our mission is to rally young people to fight injustice facing homeless youth, LGBTQ youth and other vulnerable populations.” Miley has also been helping young people online with her work for “Get Ur Good On.” Get Ur Good On is an online network for young people to support each other and do ‘good’ in their communities. A few other nonprofits that Miley works with are the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center, Music for Relief, Save The Music Foundation, Stand Up To Cancer, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, The Art of Elysium, The Trevor Project, Tony Hawk Foundation, and To Write Love on Her Arms. 26

Kerry Washington

Outside of portraying the Scandal character Olivia Pope, Washington has been busy forming a different team of “Gladiators.” Washington formed the team for the 2007 Lee National Denim Day, in support of the Women’s Cancer Programs within the Entertainment Industry Foundation. Kerry was also a supporter at UNTIL THE VIOLENCE STOPS-NYC: a festival presented by V-Day, a global movement to end violence against women and girls. Some other nonprofits she’s participated in are 10x10, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Creative Coalition, Entertainment Industry Foundation, Got Your 6, Make A Film Foundation, Motion Picture and Television Fund Foundation, Peace Over Violence, Step Up, The Hollywood Cookbook, and V-Day.

Demi Lovato

By talking openly about her personal experiences, Demi Lovato has become a role-model for many. Lovato is known for speaking out against bullying along with addressing other issues. She also is an official ambassador for the youth empowerment event We Day and the organization Free the Children. We Day and Free the Children empower young people to remove barriers that prevent them from being active local and global citizens. She has worked with other organizations like A Day Made Better, City of Hope, DonateMyDress,

DoSomething, Free The Children, Love Our Children USA, Save, Shoe Revolt, Stand Up To Cancer, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and STOMP Out Bullying.


In 2007, Akon dedicated his attention, energy, and love to launch the Konfidence Foundation. The Konfidence Foundation aims to improve the quality of life for people in Africa and the United States. Through the Konfidence Foundation, Akon established Akon Lighting Africa, an initiative to bring solar power to rural areas of Western and Central Africa. In the U.S., the foundation sponsors literacy programs, funds school rehabs and repairs, and offers international education scholarships. Akon has been a philanthropist to other foundations and charities including The Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes, Clothes Off Our Back, Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, NoVo Foundation, and Peace One Day.

families at community events. Nelly’s dedication to taking a stand against hunger is widely admired. Nelly has also lent a helping hand to education, joining forces with Vatterott College to establish the ExTreme Institute by Nelly in 2011. The ExTreme Institute offers their students quality education by working closely with industry experts and hands-on experience through internships and apprenticeships right here in St. Louis. Furthermore, Nelly has partnered with Lindenwood University to offer scholarships to first year students who met admission requirements, demonstrated academic success, leadership and financial need. Recipients submitted a 200-to 300-word essay describing their personal goals and aspirations for college and their plans for applying their education and talents in the future. Bringing awareness to health issues, hunger, and education, Nelly has been quite charitable during his music career.


Nelly began his philanthropy in 2008 with an organization called 4Sho4Kids, providing assistance to children who were born with health complications. Nelly has also joined forces with Feed the Children Foundation by co-hosting events for families in the St. Louis region.Through this initiative, food and supplies are distributed to local CULTURE 27

What it costs to be a rapper

COMMON CENT$ by Najee Person photos courtesy of Arshad Goods and Klevah Knox

The Midwest has brought so many great artists to the forefront. These artists come from humble beginnings; striving for the ultimate goal to be heard. It can be difficult to achieve dreams of becoming a famous rapper if money is limited. Many aspiring artists ask, ‘How much does it really cost to be a rapper?’ The numbers will astonish you. On the Money sat down with local Midwest artists Arshad Goods and Klevah Knox to get a deeper look into the bills of a rapper.


What you can say what’s feasible for you. On a local independent level, I’d say you’ll need to have at least 10 racks [$10,000] to really put somethin’ together. Keep in mind you’ll need promotion, hopefully you’ll land some shows, you’ll need photography, videography, at some point a manager and even PR; everybody gets paid from what you need. So you have to factor that in your budget. At the minimum you’ll need to pay your engineer and whoever is making your beats. Whatever you put into making the project, make sure you put at least that much or more, into promoting it. OTM: How much money would you say you’ve spent as an artist within a year?

On The Money: How would you describe your style of music? Arshad: I’ve put money into equipment for my home set up. Somebody else could get away with Arshad Goods: BackTrap. Backpack meets Trap not spending that much money simply by recording Music...Funk blended with 808s. from their phone. I would say I’ve spent at least $8,000- $10,000. That includes shows, a band, a OTM: How expensive is it to be an artist today? listening session, feeding people, gift bags, etc. Arshad: One word...Hella [laughs] I mean you’ve got to invest in yourself. That could mean that you’re eatin’ Ramen [noodles] for a month, just so you can put aside enough money for studio time. It’s not like there’s a magical number to say, ‘Have this much [money] and you’ll be good.’ It’s more like what you can make work with your budget. 28 CULTURE

OTM: If someone were to give you the money, what amount would you say would make you comfortable to work on a project? Arshad: I wouldn’t take anyone’s money unless its $100,000. Like if it’s someone just giving bread [money], they will most likely want that bread back.

If it’s free money, like a grant; give me $25,000 $50,000 and I’ll make a miracle happen. OTM: I know you just came from New York, can you share how much of a financial impact that trip had on you? Arshad: Going to New York was a networking opportunity. I was able to work with a videographer who was looking to expand their resume, and a writer/director, that was looking to do the same. It was an opportunity for them just as much as it was for me, so I didn’t have to pay them. All I had to do was pay for my plane ticket and food so it really wasn’t a setback. Actually it was cheaper for me to go there [to New York] than working with someone here [St. Louis]. OTM: Wow! How do you stay balanced between practical daily spending and spending on your artistry?

Klevah: I would say that if J Dilla and Erykah Badu had a baby, I would be her. I really like the 90s aesthetics of hip hop, and I would say that because of the content of my music, it is very soulful, so um, kinda blending those two together. If you add those things together it would be what I represent. OTM: How expensive is it to be an artist? Klevah: Umm… That’s a good question. I think it’s really invaluable. Like you could probably never have enough [money]. I’ve even gotten to that stage where I’m actually paying for studio time. Where I’m actually paying for quality beats, for quality features, and stuff like that. OTM: You’ve got quality beats though.

Klevah: I do, what I’m saying though, is a lot of times especially when you’re up and coming, you have to pay for things. But it’s a different type of Arshad: The only thing I need is food, water and economy. It’s really like a cultural exchange, ‘You do somewhere to sleep. In various bills, like insurance, I something for me, and I’ll do something for you.’ make sure that [bill] is paid. But everything outside Like a bartering system versus, me paying for all of music is expendable. Music comes before the goods and services that I need. Aside from that everything else. At some point you gotta bank on though, when you just factor in actual survival, you yourself. You can get caught up in playing catch up can’t fully work a full time job, and also be a full all of your life. time artist, you have to make a sacrifice somewhere. It’s really expensive to be an artist. You have to survive and you have to be able to create a model that works for you, so you’re still able to eat, travel, and do all the things that people with jobs can do.

KlevaH knox

OTM: How would you describe your style of music?

OTM: How much do you think you have spent in the year as an artist? An estimate. Klevah: Almost $3000, when I think about traveling, buying equipment, a microphone, getting to shows and venues. I’ve done the pay to play thing too where you pay for a time slot. OTM: How much would you say is a comfortable amount for an artist’s project? Klevah: Between $2500-$5000 [was spent] for my tour. I had to create a budget and even fundraise for it. I also had to invest in promotional materials like t-shirts, stickers, and business cards. OTM: How do you stay balanced between your everyday spending and spending on your artistry? Klevah: It’s definitely a sacrifice, I would spend money on music before anything else. I don’t shop too much. So I save money there. Using resources is definitely a part of balancing spending. There’s many resources out here you just have to recognize them and take advantage of them. If I need a visual for something, clothes, etc., if I have built my relationship right, I will be able to use those resources no problem. CULTURE 29

GET BANKED NOW by OTM staff The St. Louis Regional Unbanked Taskforce (STRUT) is a collaborative of financial institutions, community based organizations, social service agencies, faith based organizations, community leaders, local and state officials, advocacy groups and grassroots members. It was formed to address the high numbers of unbanked and underbanked individuals in the St. Louis region. They work to connect unbanked consumers to local banks and credit unions so that they may have access to products and services to help them build assets and improve their financial stability. BANK-On SAVE-Up St. Louis is the first initiative led by the St. Louis Regional Unbanked Task Force. It is modeled after the successful “Bank On” San Francisco program, which began in 2006, and brought in over ten thousand new accounts to the Bay Area. The “Bank On” concept is now being replicated throughout the US in 84 cities and 33 states. We hope to model similar results here in our region. To date, BOSU financial intuitions have reported 3,664 accounts across 138 zip codes. More importantly, we have made a $4.4 million dollar impact on St. Louis families. In St. Louis, our vision is that every family has access to the tools needed to achieve their goals of home ownership, higher education, starting a business or saving for the future. Bank On Save Up partners provide financial education to youth and young adults by sponsoring this magazine as well as partnering with area schools, boys and girls clubs, non-profit organizations and churches. In addition to banking the unbanked, we offer $500 mini-grants to community partners to offer free financial education in saving, budgeting, credit, and basic banking. To open a bank account or apply for a community grant, please contact 314-239-1897 or email


SOME WORDS OF FINANCIAL WISDOM FROM BOSU PARTNERS Georgie Donahue Program Administration Director, Community Action Agency of St. Louis County (CAASTLC) “Everyone needs a little nest egg to help you through the emergencies that ARE going to occur. The best way to save money is to never see it in the first place. Have a direct deposit made to your savings account from your paycheck in addition to a direct deposit to your checking account. And, pretend like the money is not there until you really do have that emergency.”

Jeanne C. Marra Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Sr. Community Development Specialist For my long-term savings, I try to put that automatically into an account I don’t see or use on a regular basis, and it builds up slowly, but regularly. I try to put it out of sight, out of mind and just let it grow in a safe place. It’s rewarding to check that account, maybe once every six months or a year to see that every dollar counts and adds up.

Galen Gondolfi Justine Petersen, Chief Communications Officer/Senior Loan Counselor “Start building credit score as early as you can (age 18). It is one of the most important grades that no one tells you about. Your personal credit score is your most fundamental financial asset.” Bishop Luther Baker CEO and Founder of Man of Valor “Saving strategies are very important. Saving is a discipline. When you have a strategy, it keeps you within the boundaries of not going outside of those boundaries. We live in a time of instant gratification; a lot of people can’t handle delayed gratification. A lot of people don’t realize it’s just delayed and not denied.” Veta Jeffery Missouri Office of Community Engagement Savings protects us from the unexpected. Our parents, family and friends won’t always have money to lend us. We won’t always have the strength to work. As long as we live, we will need to eat, have some place to live, and we will need money to provide for these needs. It’s necessary to learn about the best ways to save from financial professionals. That way we won’t lose money by using pay day loan [services] and check cashing [services] to make money transactions.

Paula E.W. Carey Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, Director of Housing The financial steps I took were learned early in life. I always planned what to do with money before I ever received it. I realized that I needed to have money last from paycheck to paycheck, so I saved and learned to pay bills on time, so my financial position wouldn’t hinder me. PARTNERSHIPS 31

Through Bank On, Save Up Saint Louis, there are many financial partners in the Saint Louis region working to bank the unbanked-- helping to create lasting financial and economic impact in our communities. We asked a few of them, “What’s the best financial advice for young adults in Saint Louis today?”

Loura Gilbert Commerce Bank, Vice President “Keep less cash in your pocket. Instead, keep money in an account to limit impulse spending. Cash is harder to keep track of – who remembers where that $20 bill went -- it’s just gone.”

LaTonya Jackson Electro Saving Credit Union, Community Development Officer “Save and start saving NOW. The amount of money is not important but creating the habit is. Start with ten cents or ten dollars, it doesn’t matter; just start.” Jeannine Murphy First Collinsville Banks, Loan Officer & Community Development Officer


“Savings is actually more important than spending. Plan for a healthy financial future. Research and interview various financial institutions to determine if they engage in financial education. Establish a relationship with one that you’re most comfortable with and consult with a banker/account rep to reach your goals, especially before making a major financial decision. Evaluate your credit and review your money management skills often.”

Tony Edmonds Midwest BankCentre, Regional Sales Manager “Everyone should be financially empowered and understand what accrued interest is so they do not have to find out the hard way. Additionally, beware of social security ending due to a longer life expectancy and make those necessary adjustments to improve your quality of life.”

David Noble Midland States Bank, Community Development & CRA Officer “Learn financial principles and apply them at an early age. Don’t worry about what someone else thinks about you or worry about what they have. Don’t let the media tell you who you are supposed to be or how you are supposed to look. Live your life with purpose and understand that good financial stewardship will be key to a successful life for you and your family.”

Ted Rice Montgomery Bank, Community Development Officer “Get a financial plan together now and try to plan out as much as 6 months in advance. Open a checking and savings account as quickly as possible. Try to avoid predatory lenders at all cost (payday loans, check cashing facilities, etc). Determine wants vs. needs and make that distinction early in life. Stick to those needs and don’t let your expenses exceed your income. Purpose to maintain a good balance.”

Michael Stevenson Royal Banks of Missouri, Senior Vice President “Ask yourself if it’s a need or a want before you buy it and only buy stuff you can afford to pay for. Always ask yourself “Do I need it or do I want it?” You may need a pair of shoes, but not a $500 pair of shoes. Don’t confuse needs with wants.”

Lisa Dickmann The Private Bank, Retail Manager “Pay attention to where you’re spending money. Start budgeting early and stick to that budget. Always put something away in savings to build a financial cushion for emergencies or unplanned expenses.” PARTNERSHIPS 33


Live in Dutchtown, Gravois Park, Tower Grove East, Bevo, Walnut Park East/West, Mark Twain, Penrose, O’Fallon or Baden and need a summer job? STL Youth Jobs provides youth from the City of St. Louis between the ages of 16-23 with job training, financial literacy training and paid employment opportunities during the summer! Our employment specialists provide comprehensive training to give you the skills you need to start your job, then match you with local employers in a field you’re interested in. Our Job Coaches help support you throughout the entire summer to make sure that you have a successful, positive employment experience (while making money, too). You can work up to 160 hours throughout the summer and are paid $8.00 per hour. Wanna get to work? Contact Patrick McCulloch (pmcculloch@mersgoodwill. org) or check us out at Applications for next summer are available in February 2016! Apply early!

Want to make money? Want to open a checking account on your own to deposit all of that money? Want to work at a job like On the Money Magazine and produce what is clearly the coolest magazine out there? Then apply with SLATE, one of the largest youth employment programs in Saint Louis. With a job from SLATE, you can work up to 240 hours over the summer. You will be placed in a traditional work sites such as retail and local parks and recreation, but also in work experiences with industries increasingly important to the economic growth of Missouri. These include many vital to the St. Louis region –Information Technology, Financial Services, Healthcare, Bioscience and Journalism! Last year, SLATE helped 812 young adults open checking and savings accounts. That’s $115,155 dollars put into checking accounts and $10,141 into savings. Apply online at

One of the newest off-site learning centers of St. Louis Community College on the north side offers associate degrees and certificates in four programs as well as general education courses. Come in a chat with an academic advisor today! 3140 Cass Avenue St. Louis, MO 63106 (314) 763-6000 Human Services

Full College Services

Associate in Applied Science Degree Certificate of Proficiency Certificate of Specialization Paramedic Technology Associate in Applied Science Degree Emergency Medical Technology Certificate of Proficiency Certificate of Specialization

Admissions, Registration and Financial Aid Advising & Counseling Assessment Testing Career & Employment Services Campus Life Tutoring Continuing Education & GED Study Review African-American Male Initiative Program Student Support Services Academic Support Services Disability Support Services Library Services

Many photos featured in this magazine were taken with cameras purchased from Schillers. We were grateful for the in-depth photo training provided by Schillers because without it, our photos would not be as beautiful (or as in focus). 34 PARTNERSHIPS

Visit them at 9240 Manchester Rd. Saint Louis, MO 63144 or at

MEET THE SUMMER 2015 OTM TEAM! Myles Bastian, 18 Pattonville High School, Graduate

Emil Beckford, 18 SLUH, Graduate Yale University, Freshman

Malaika Charrington, 15

Grace Gerbi, 16

Metro Academic and Classical High School, Sophomore

Crossroads College Preparatory School, Sophomore

Kevin Le, 17

Quinton Le, 17

Metro Academic and Classical High School, Senior

Metro Academic and Classical High School, Senior

ConTina May, 19 Metro Academic and Classical High School, Graduate Iowa Western Community College, Sophomore

Najee Person, 22 Parkway North, Graduate Columbia College Chicago

Dominique Shields, 20 Gateway STEM High School, Graduate Florissant Valley Community College, Sophomore

Alashia Trotter, 18 Clyde C. Miller Academy, Senior 35

It all starts when you make a commitment to yourself to save. Let St. Louis Saves help you reach your savings and debt reduction goals! That’s what this pledge is all about. Go online to take the St. Louis Saves Pledge and join thousands of other St. Louisans committing to saving for their future. Just scan the QR code to the right. St. Louis Saves will keep you motivated with information, advice, tips, and reminders to help you reach your savings goal. Think of it as your own personal support system. We’ll send you texts to update you on your savings goals and remind you to pay yourself first. Scan and Save today!

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