At Indiana University East, we like to talk about money. We discuss many things concerning money: how to get it, how to invest it and how to save it. Money is such an interesting topic that three students created a way to teach younger students how to plan and save for their future.
Paige Gray, Johnny Fike and Joao Vitor de Lima created CEOs, or Cash Equals Opportunities, to participate in the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s “Money Smart Week.” Their work also involved the Indiana Council for Economic Education and the IU East Center for Economic Education.
The key rule of the CEO method is that an individual must save double what they plan to spend. This means if a person wants to buy a product or service costing $50, they must save $100 before spending the $50. The idea is that a person can’t just save money in order to spend it, because that would mean the person has no savings. Instead, with this concept, a person can build their savings alongside purchasing what they want or need.
Paige, Johnny and Joao quickly became known around campus and community as “the student CEOs.” They created and taught curriculum to 130 regional high school students who spent a day on the IU East campus. In the curriculum, the CEOs listed 25 ways an early high school student could earn money.
Following up on the event on campus, the CEOs and I will visit the high schools to assist the teachers with lesson plans in the classroom. Several teachers have expressed interest in having the CEOs meet with the students and follow up on the information shared during the IU East visit. In their ongoing effort to connect with even more students, the CEOs are planning another Money Smart Day on the IU East campus in spring 2020.
The original CEOs have added another member, Cole Fosbrink, to their group. Cole created an on-campus game, Cash Hunch. A jar of shredded currency is displayed at the Center for Economic Education located in Room 127 of Hayes Hall. The value of the currency changes each week, and IU East students are invited to guess the value. The person with the closest guess wins a free lunch with the CEOs, held at the Tin Cup restaurant on Main Street in downtown Richmond. The lunch includes a special presentation from a local company’s CEO, providing professional interaction for student engagement.
Our CEOs at Indiana University East try to make conversations around money both fun and educational. Not only has the Cash Equals Opportunities program reached regional high school students, but it also won honorable mention in the Bright Ideas competition held by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.