On Thursday, August 16, eight members of the Baldwin Finance Club visited the offices of Fundación Popular with their advisor, Mr. Jeff Penn, to begin training as the first-ever high school members of Banco Popular’s team of financial trainers. Banco Popular’s personal finance program, Finanzas en Tus Manos, utilizes university students and professionals to provide personal finance seminars throughout Puerto Rico. For three years Fundación Popular’s director, Kenneth Pabon Astor, has been working with Baldwin to develop a group of high school students who could teach other high school, or middle school, students the basics of personal finance. At the end of their training our students will be available to present workshops in high schools, middle schools, and community groups across the island.
As part of their ongoing work the group will also be mentoring the current 9th grade through Budget Challenge, an international competition during which students manage a simulated salary and household budget. Students will pay bills, choose insurance plans, manage credit cards, and handle the financial aspects of unexpected crises like car accidents. Scoring is based on avoiding late payments and overusing the credit card, putting money into a 401K, and taking weekly quizzes. Over 50,000 students from around the world will compete in this fall’s competition, which last year saw Baldwin students Nikhil Patel and Rani Patel place in the top 150 and 350 respectively.
Yash Patel (9), Alejandro Quiñones (12, club co-president), Mariola Busquets (12, club co-president), Alexandro Kontokalos (11), Aubrey Sang (12), Roberto Rodriguez (12), Pedro Colón (12), and Raj Patel (9) and Mr. Kenneth Pabón-Astor, project director of Finanzas en Tus Manos