Center for Entrepreneurship Launches Financial Literacy Initiative

The LMU Fred Kiesner Center for Entrepreneurship organized a Financial Literacy Boot Camp on June 15-18 as part of the Save It Forward Initiative, a new program spearheaded and funded by Kinko’s founder and part-time faculty member Paul Orfalea. The LMU Family of Schools recruited 13 local high school students to participate in this intensive four-day workshop to learn the fundamentals of setting financial goals, saving, budgeting, investing, benefits of college, buying a car, the stock market and professional communication.

“This program teaches students about financial literacy, how to save, how to budget – it’s not just about educating them but empowering them to share their newfound knowledge with family and friends,” said Assistant Director of Entrepreneurship Mylen Yamamoto, who helped organize the program curriculum along with David Choi, Ron Rishagen and Jason D’Mello.

“What’s interesting about this program is we tailor it to high school students but do it in a college environment,” said Entrepreneurship Director David Choi. “At the same time, our LMU entrepreneurship students are intimately involved in teaching and mentoring these kids.”

This boot camp is unique in that it is both a theory and a life skills course. The goal is to help participants better understand the theories of financial literacy and be able to apply and analyze the tips and strategies to best fit their lives.

On the final day of the boot camp, each student prepared a PowerPoint presentation summarizing key takeaways and lessons learned from the class. They were also treated to a special visit by Paul Orfalea who spoke about the connection between delayed gratification and creating wealth (what he calls “financial heaven”). As a reward for successfully completing the program, Paul gave $50 to each student to open up their own savings account (compound interest).

The class is already a hit and seems to have filled a certain void among high school students and their parents. One student’s mom called to say that four other families are interested in participating in the boot camp. Plans are already in the works to organize another boot camp later this summer.

“We want to hold these many times throughout the year,” said Choi. “This is an exciting new social venture that our entrepreneurship students and the entire College of Business Administration can get involved with.”