Today’s essay is by Paul Hogge, a student at Harvard University. He shares how he learned his financial education and how he uses it to give back to the community.
Growing up as an American Indian in the South, my father had a very lacking education. By the time desegregation began, he was too far behind the other students academically.
To be honest, education was not a priority in my family. What really mattered was working hard, doing my job with excellence, and saving money. So, this is where my parents made an important impact on my life and finances.
By the fifth grade, I even had a position at a local upholstery store, helping with their budgeting. Again, my parents never forced me to work, but allowed me to be successful in these small roles.
I believe that these experiences helped give me some extra “grit.” These experiences have given me the ability to budget properly and have helped me in school and my professional life.
I am currently in the process of helping evaluate the tribe’s budget and creating a financial plan in order to create a more sustainable budget.
This work includes creating a workshop to better educate young members of my tribe about post-secondary education, financial planning, and loan planning.