Melody Bell was inspired to start a financial literacy nonprofit after years of working as a Registered Representative at World Financial Group, and working in collections at Meier & Frank and Volkswagen Credit. She repeatedly dealt with individuals who had failed to properly protect themselves financially, leaving them little money for savings and personal security. In her work helping others who had fallen behind on their obligations, she realized the majority of these individuals were vastly unprepared to make important financial decisions. Because of this, her clients not only struggled to make ends meet, but often were forced to put dreams and life goals on hold.
Firmly believing that sound financial decisions are a result of early education, Melody was determined to create an organization that would provide unbiased personal financial education to young people. Financial Beginnings was co-founded by Melody Thompson and Kari McClellan in 2005 and classes were first provided to schools in 2006. Financial Beginnings currently works in partnership with schools, community organizations and other nonprofits to deliver this education.
Financial Beginnings was founded to achieve the following goals:
- Provide age-appropriate financial education.
- Increase comprehension of financial terms, concepts, and practices.
- Engage participants in the learning process.
- Create confidence among participants in dealing with and discussing matters relating to finance.
- Support parents in educating their children about finance by providing much-needed resources.
- Demonstrate the importance of finance in relation to age-specific milestones, providing a true real-world education.
- Promote self-sufficiency in participants.
- Communicate the importance of financial literacy to teachers, parents, teens, and community members.
- Encourage participants to take charge of their financial future.
"Financial Beginnings' taught me that you are never too young to start thinking about your financial future."
- Student Participant
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