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HSFPP Stories of Impact

Valuing Open and Honest Financial Discussions

HSFPP Stories of Impact

real teachers real stories

by Loan Nguyen, Math Teacher, Saint Paul, Minn.

“My family used to live in a nice house in the suburbs—I don’t know what happened—but we moved to this city and became renters and now my parents cannot even get a loan because their credit score is bad. I wish someone would’ve helped my parents understand how credit cards work”, Alison* said with a sad look in her eyes. “I’m glad that I’ve got to learn this stuff before I get out on my own.”

My name is Loan Nguyen. I have taught math at Face to Face Academy for 15 years now. Over the last couple of years, I have initiated the High School Financial Planning Program (HSFPP) at Face to Face because I’ve seen a great need for it. My students—many of whom have a challenging life—are at high risk for dropping out of high school. They have never received any education on personal finances. Many of them try to go to school while working minimum wage jobs at fast-food establishments. Whatever money they make, they spend it quickly and can hardly save for their long-term goals.

Since offering this class, my students have repeatedly told me that they value the information I share with them and that their mindset has shifted towards having an open and honest discussion about their money habits and views. In particular, they love to learn how credit scores work, a concept that might be foreign to even some adults. Some of them even go as far as trying to save money for their rental place once they reach 18 years old and have to get out on their own.

I know it’s a long endeavor until my students can become citizens with adequate knowledge of financial literacy. However, I believe the journey is worth it and lives will change for the better.

*For privacy concerns name has been changed.