Program aims to teach financial literacy to teens

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 11, 2009

NATCHEZ — In the financial realm, one of the best tools is knowledge.

And to equip the youth of Natchez, a college student from the University of Chicago will be hosting a financial literacy program.

Greg Nance, who founded a financial literacy program for youth called the American Investment Fellows, wants to bring his knowledge back to his roots in Natchez.

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Nance’s mother is from Natchez, and his grandmother, Ruby Arehart, still lives in town, and he said he felt drawn to help the area.

“It’s a great way to give back,” he said. “I think a lot of students really, really need a lot of financial literacy.

“We’re trying to get teens truly thinking about their financial future.”

And that comes from gaining knowledge in basic budgeting, but also by thinking constantly and wisely about the future.

For example, Nance said if a high school student is working part time, and making $150 a month, the student should invest the money in their future.

“It’s very easy to get into a consumer’s mindset as soon as you get that $150 paycheck — the first you thing you want to do is run out and spend it,” he said. “By understanding the power of money, you can quickly take those $150 paychecks and turn those into college tuition for four years.”

Financial literacy is a powerful tool to have, but especially in times of an economic recession and a credit crisis, the tool becomes ever more powerful, Nance said.

Debt will be a strong point of discussion at the program.

“That’s definitely a very important topic,” he said.

Not using credit cards as a crutch and learning how bad credit can effect decisions down the road — buying a house or a car — are things Nance is looking forward to instilling in area youth.

The financial literacy camp is free will be from 3 to 6 p.m. Thursday at the Judge George W. Armstrong Library.

Those interested can e-mail Nance at