This winter, Zoomers is helping kids gain financial independence with a fun program that’s supported by a variety of sponsors.
The program provides youth with the opportunity to learn valuable skills that could help them make money in the future.
To learn more, we spoke with Scott Nelson, founder of Zoomers, a non-profit that helps kids improve their financial skills through experiential learning.
Zoomers Inspired By Scott’s Own Children
Scott started Zoomers after his own children were old enough to leave home and go to school. He wanted to be able to give them the tools they needed to be successful adults and provide for their families.
When his kids were in high school, he would often drop them off at school and pick them up after school, feeling frustrated that he couldn’t spend more time with them. So he started the organization so that he could be with their kids more while they are learning and growing.
Scott knew that there were a lot of kids who were in a similar situation and felt like they didn’t have the tools to deal with it. He wanted to change that.
Financial Skills Are Vital As Kids Navigate Early Adolescence
“It’s really important to develop good financial skills because we know there are a lot of challenges that come with being a kid,” Scott said. “We want to make sure that they are equipped with the tools to be successful.”
Some of these challenges include figuring out how to balance spending and saving, understanding the value of money and the need to be careful with what they spend, etc.
Kids are also going through a phase where they are developing a sense of independence and want to be able to handle their own finances. While it’s important to teach them responsibility, it’s also important to give them the tools necessary to be successful.
Scott mentioned that he wished there was a program like Zoomers when he was their age because he knew there were a lot of things he needed to learn. And he isn’t the only one.
The Need For Experiential Learning
“We want to give them the opportunity to learn through real-life situations and in a way that’s relevant and challenging,” Scott said. “One of our biggest supporters has been Wells Fargo. They believe that the better the learning experience, the better the outcome. And we couldn’t agree more.”
Through the Wells Fargo sponsorship, Zoomers is providing underprivileged kids with the opportunities to learn valuable skills and gain experience that could help them gain employment. For example, one student will receive two weeks of paid employment at a local Wells Fargo office while participating in the program.
By providing these opportunities to kids, Scott is hoping to not only help them gain financial independence but also give them the tools necessary to be successful in life.
Zoomers Is A Win-Win For Everyone
For Scott, the win-win aspect of this program comes from two directions. First, he has personally benefited from the program. As a kid, he never had the money to buy his own clothes or to take trips to the movies with his family. So this program gave him the opportunity to make up for lost time and provide his children with the tools to be financially independent adults.
Additionally, Scott sees the program as a way to give back to the community. A lot of the kids who participate in the program come from low-income households and don’t have the same opportunities that he had growing up. By providing them with a way to gain financial independence, he is giving them a chance to better their circumstances and live a more comfortable life.
Scott is also aware that there are a lot of challenges that kids face. Some of these challenges include finding the proper attire for certain occasions like job interviews or college meetings, understanding the basic financial concepts like saving and spending, etc.
Through this program, Scott hopes to equip kids with the knowledge and tools to overcome these challenges and become successful adults.
Why Should You Care About Financial Independence For Kids?
Even before you start worrying about retirement, you should care about your children’s financial independence. Why? Because as we mentioned above, there are a lot of challenges that come with being a kid. One of the most important things you can do for your children is help them develop good financial skills.
By teaching them to be responsible, you are also teaching them to be independent and confident. Two qualities that every adult should have. And what’s more, if you start early, it’ll be easier for them to navigate these challenging years.
The earlier you start teaching your kids good financial skills, the better. Whether it’s through a formal program like Zoomers or via osmosis while they are still in the parent’s care, the more time you’ll have with them.
Start early and often. Give them the tools necessary for success. And enjoy those moments with them while you can.