By some estimates, less than 30% of Americans [I] feel like they are in control of their finances. For young people preparing to transition to adulthood, most of whom do not have a steady source of income, these challenges are far more daunting, especially when combined with other barriers they often face.
The support that mentors can provide young men in navigating the financial aid system to persist through and complete college is critical to them securing a quality job and achieving long-term financial security. The John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities issued a report in August 2014, “College Access and Completion among Boys and Young Men of Color,” that states, “Many young men drop out of college because they are not able to pay for tuition and related costs; others do not graduate within six years because they are busy working off-campus jobs to finance their education.”
JPMorgan Chase’s employee, Imani Farley says that” before talking to young people about their finances, mentors need to develop trusting relationships. Trust is achieved when both the mentor and Fellow practice empathy and avoid making assumptions about each other.”
“Meet Fellows where they are. Take the time to understand who influences them, how they define success, and what specific financial goals that they have. It is also important to establish a relationship with parents so that discussions on finances are reinforced and supported in the home.”
The following are tangible ways in which mentors can support young men of color on their path to achieving financial self-sufficiency: