A South Florida natives who leads the nation's largest minority-owned bank, is on a mission to help teach urban youngsters about money management.
Teri Williams, president of OneUnited Bank, was recently here to speak to students about her own personal experiences and her book,
I Got Bank! What My Granddad Taught Me About Money
"It's important for us to manage our money, to think about money," said Williams who grew up in Indiantown and graduated from Martin County High School before getting an Ivy League education at Brown and Harvard.
Yet, many urban South Florida youngsters don't know about interest rates, CDs, checking accounts or even what it means to "bounce" a check or go to a bank "branch," she said.
A lot of the kids Williams grew up with in South Florida didn't know basic financial facts because many of the adults in their own families didn't – many didn't even have a checking account but instead relied on check cashing stores, she said.
"Scams really dominate our community," Williams added. She wants to help educate youngsters how they can avoid such financial fraud schemes that can deplete savings and even cause people to lose their homes.
"When children learn the lessons of financial literacy at a young age, they form strong habits that can be life changing," she said.
OneUnited Bank will send a free copy of Williams' book to public libraries or schools on request while there are supplies. To request the book, go to www.oneunited.com/book
OneUnited is also sponsoring its second annual I Got Bank! essay contest to promote financial literacy for kids between the ages of 8 and 12. They can write a 250-word essay about what they have learned and how they can apply in their lives from reading Williams' book or another book on personal finance. Three youngsters have a chance to each win $1,000. Go to the same website address for details.