By Teens for Teens Spring 2016
BE MONEY SMART
THROUGHOUT YOUR CAREER!
Start-up Incubators After the Interview
Self-Discipline at Work
Ready for College
Apply! Save! Budget!
Income Inequality and
Saving and Budgeting
Creativity in the
The Importance of
Branding Yourself on
Doctors as Entrepreneurs
Networking to Build
Letter from the Treasurer
20 In the Know Activity Page
Thank you to
Our Program Sponsors
TABLE OF CONTENTS
On the Money magazine is written by teens for other
teens. On the Money covers entrepreneurship, business,
finance, credit, saving and more... providing real world
experiences and resources that can help students learn
to meet their business, money and career goals. On the
Money is provided by the Economic Awareness Coun-
cil through collaboration with Chicago Public Library,
DePaul University, the Office of the City Treasurer of
Chicago, and True Star Magazine.
The Economic Awareness Council (EAC) is a
non-profit financial education organization with
program attendance of over 20,000 each year.
ABOUT ON THE MONEY
ABOUT THE EAC
On the Money Magazine would like to thank HSBC Bank, the Coleman Foundation, the Office of the City Treasurer of Chicago,
State Farm Insurance Companies®, U.S. Bank, Republic Bank, FirstMerit Bank, Guaranty Bank, MB Financial
and TCF Bank for their sponsorship of this issue.
Phoenix Military Academy
Whitney M. Young Magnet High School
Rowe-Clark Math & Science Academy
Kenwood Academy High School
Michelle Clark High School
Walter Payton College Prep
Whitney M. Young Magnet High School
Lincoln Park High School
Whitney M. Young Magnet High School
Whitney M. Young Magnet High School
Lane Tech College Prep
Whitney M. Young Magnet High School
Jones College Prep
King College Prep
Dear On The Money readers,
As we gear up for the warmer months ahead, I
want you to start thinking about smart money
management with the paychecks you will bring home from your summer
jobs. If you work hard, you deserve to have some of that money saved up for
bigger purchases down the line! Now is the perfect time to build the financial
habits that will help you succeed in college and your career.
Not sure where to start? Here are a few easy things you can do:
• Open a bank account: A bank account gives you a safe way to keep and save your money. My office has made
it super easy for you to find a free or low-cost bank account. Check out BankOnChicago.org to find a bank that’s
close to you and meets your needs.
• Sign up for direct deposit: Did you know that using check cashers can cost you $65 a month? By signing up for
direct deposit, your employer will automatically deposit your paycheck in your bank account, saving you the hassle
(and cost!) of having to cash your check. Learn more about direct deposit at Plan2Achieve.org
• Create a budget and save: Think ahead about the expenses and goals that you might have in the future. I also
recommend starting an emergency fund, so that you’re prepared for anything that comes your way. Visit www.practi-
calmoneyskills.com for helpful budgeting calculators to help get you started.
These steps are easy to do and will help you get most out of your paycheck, setting you up for a future of financial
success. Interested in learning more about my office or a future in finance? You can always reach me at city.treasur-
Enjoy your summer!
LETTER FROM THE CITY
TREASURER OF CHICAGO
City Treasurer of Chicago
When you imagine a model company, you
probably think of a large, well established company.
But how do companies start and who helps them
grow? Each company begins in a “startup” phase but
most are unknown because 9 out of 10 startups fail
(Fortune). This startling statistic has led to a new type
of organization to help more startups succeed--the
Incubators’ primary goal is to provide
startups with support services
and physical space in which to work
Some incubators might have rigorous application
processes or require companies to fit into certain
categories. The wide variety of incubators has led to
their specialization with some focusing on science
and/or technology based companies.
One incubator that is changing the incubator
business model is Roniin. At Roniin, each company is
started by Roniin and then developed in their space.
Roniin co-founder Ryan Jeffrey explained, “Roniin
provides everything a founder/CEO needs to be successful.
This means all administrative and back office related tasks and
execution based support. Essentially, everything a startup needs
to get up and off the ground while pursuing sustained and intel-
ligent growth”. Roniin has been very successful thus far
with a growing network of companies that includes
Office Luv, pearachute, Grace, and Matchist.
EnterpriseWorks Incubator at the University
of Illinois is an incubator that focuses on scientific
based startups that are primarily linked to the uni-
versity’s graduates and professors. EnterpriseWorks
Director Laura Frerichs explained, “The defining feature
of the incubator is the support services they provide to compa-
nies. These services include Entrepreneurs in Residence which
matches companies with mentors, and EnterpriseWorks’ ability
to match companies with global venture capital firms”. These
programs, in addition to many others, have allowed
for EnterpriseWorks’ 230 companies, all in various
stages of development, to raise $880 million in
Access to potential investors is very
important as 29% of failed startups
cited a lack of sufficient capital as a
reason for failure (Fortune).
With new ideas being created everyday, incu-
bators are becoming the place where many startups
spend their first few years. As a result of the growing
number of incubators, the next issue for budding en-
trepreneurs might not be how to start their company
but with which incubator.
ON THE MONEY:
Focus on Sustainability
Most Important Leadership Qualities Over the Next Five Years
The New “IT” Factor for the Workplace?
Dedicated, strong-minded, and committed;
all are positive adjectives used to describe leaders like
Barack Obama, Bill Gates, or Oprah Winfrey, but
many overlook one of the most important qualities
for the workplace--creativity. Creativity in the work-
place is a valuable skill because it can increase the abil-
ity to solve problems in a new way, potentially leading
to global ideas that achieve a business’ goals. Jessica
Hammond, Leader of Human Resource Partners at
kCura said, “Creativity usually applies to thinking outside
the box. Here at kCura, we see creativity as a collaborative
process of thinking together to create something bigger than any
one person can do on his/her own.” kCura is not the only
company to understand the importance of creativity.
60% of top executives agreed creativity
is the most important leadership
quality (IBM, 2010).
Why? Creativity helps spur imag-
inative ideas. With a more open
mind, one is able to solve solutions
in a new way leading to an evolving
Many know creativity is important,
but one problem many business
leaders, employers, and executives
have is how to encourage creativity
in the business workplace. Accord-
ing to Hammond, kCura leaders em-
brace, “the concept of a growth mindset,
which thrives on challenge and sees failure
as a springboard for self-improvement.”
According to an employee from
Google, “Creativity often involves working with others to
come up with new ideas” and the physical Google work-
space helps to encourage this, “Some of my favorite
areas are the ones that are set up to encourage conversation and
collaboration -- like lounges, cafes, and restaurants.” Other
employers CEO Mark Tutssel said, “...we have a passion-
ate belief in the power of creativity, and this is our shared focus
and our shared passion.”
So to all future employees, employers, and
students, look for creativity in your workplace. Try to
“think outside the box” to help implement innovative,
new, and fresh solutions that can help build up your
team, your workplace and your life in a whole, new
21st century way.
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2010 IBM Global CEO Study http://www.fastcompany.com/1648943/most-important-leadership-quality-ceos-creativity
Business is the driving factor in our economy.
From the largest magnates in the realm of Wal-Mart,
Microsoft, and Walt Disney, to medium sized retailers
like Villa or Journeys, and even local small businesses
such as your local mom-and-pop diner; entrepreneur-
ship is what makes or breaks our capitalistic society.
Given these generally agreed upon truths, why is it
that so many of our students aren’t receiving this
education in public school systems?
In Chicago, this issue disproportionately
affects students of minority demographics, often liv-
ing and learning in low income neighborhoods.
According to a report from University
of Illinois- Chicago (UIC) Great Cities
Institute, approximately forty-seven
percent of black males age 20-24 are
out of work and out of school.
The number is about 35% for women. The same
study showed that in Los Angeles, where “Career
Pathway” and “Life Skills” are two separate gradua-
tion requirements, the number of out of work and
out of school men is closer to about 30%.
When asked about how she thinks this dispar-
ity affects communities, Ms. Nancy Zook, a teacher at
Community Christian Alternative Academy, had this
to say, “Lacking this training makes you feel hopeless…, you
end up having to ask other people for jobs; [but] what happens
when they’re not there?” Zook, a former entrepreneur
turned educator who was exposed to entrepreneur-
ship in high school, also commented, “It’s doing a huge
disservice to the students, not having some kind of business or
financial education as a graduation requirement”.
It’s no doubt that business & financial
education opens up numerous opportunities, a point
certainly exemplified by Bakari Simmons, a 16 year
old sophomore at Simeon Career Academy, and
young entrepreneur. Merch: Always Official is the
name and tagline of Simmons’ clothing brand, which
sells shirts, hats, bags, and sweat suits. “I like looking
good”, Simmons said when asked about the motivation
for starting his brand.
One key fact makes Simmons’
experience so different: Simmons’
parents are both entrepreneurs.
His mother owns a manufacturing company and his
father has his hand in multiple ventures including
nightclubs and clothing stores. “... I learned a lot of what
I know about business from my parents,” says Simmons.
Simmons is a prime example of how learning about
and having experience in business can open your
mind to creating your own opportunities.
So what about kids that don’t have the advan-
tage of being raised by two successful entrepreneurs?
That’s where our public school system comes in.
Entrepreneurship, business and financial education
are essential to ensuring that a student graduates with
all of the tools they might need to succeed, create and
capitalize on opportunities.
THE NEED FOR
ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Have you ever thought about turning your social
media account into a brand or even just how social
media impacts how you market yourself? Statistics
show that “95% of all teens ages 12-17 are now
online” and “81% of online teens use some kind
of social media” (Pewinternet.org). Why not use
social media as a marketing tool?
Both teens and adults are using social media as a
resource for marketing and branding themselves. For
example, Ashlee (@Annifaras), has used social media
as an outlet to express herself, become a successful
brand ambassador, and also start a channel on You-
Tube at 15 years old. While Rob Johnson (@Rob-
JhonsonCBS2), professional news anchor, uses social
media to stay on top of what is trending, give resourc-
es for news stories, and to help support himself and
his news coordinators as they promote their stories.
Social media has become critical even for mainstream
news media, “It takes a coordinated effort just to keep up
with the quickly changing social media landscape.”
These are two different approaches in the social me-
dia world, but they are both using marking strategies
to engage their audience and meet their professional
goals. As teens, we usually go on social media to see
what’s trending, catch up on notifications, or even to
share what you ate for lunch that day. Why not use
what you do every day and build a brand for yourself?
I have five tips for marketing or branding yourself on
1. Stick to a goal
Setting a specific goal (such as number of followers
or likes) and sticking to it can take you a long way.
2. Know what you’re marketing
Knowing what your marketing plays a huge role in
what you want to show to your audience and what
you need to do to keep that audience engaged.
3. Know who your main audience is
Your audience is based on your followers and who
you’re marketing to.
4. Don’t let negative comments
outshine the positive comments
Yes, the social media can be prone to obnoxious
trolls, but there are many ways to ignore or deal
with it. (sidebar below)
5. Spread positivity
Share your story, inspire someone, or even make
someone laugh. What you give is what you get and
spreading positivity can take you a long way.
“While interviewing Ashlee,
I asked how to deal with
negativity and she said, “I
don’t deal with it, I block
and delete, and rebuke it. If
you simply close your com-
puter, none of those peo-
ple exist anymore. You can’t
hear them.” While Rob
Johnson said, “ It’s easy to
criticize people when there
is no face to put with that
criticism. If somebody criti-
cizes in a constructive way,
I will engage them. If they
are profane or exceedingly
rude, I will delete it, block
them, and unfollow them.”
BLOCK THE BAD
DOCTORS AS ENTREPRENEURS?
The Great Debate for Doctors: Hospital vs. Private Practice
It is no secret that being a medical doctor is a
lucrative profession. The average salary of a physician
is $176,851(what is source). One of the many things
doctors must decide is whether it is better to work in
private practice or as an employee at a hospital. While
both are profitable there are benefits that may come
with owning a practice that don’t come with working
in a hospital and vice versa.
A private practice doctor works independently
and not as an employee. Private practice doctors must
set up their own establishment.
Private practice doctors are
entrepreneurs; these doctors must find
capital to fund their establishment, an
establishment itself, and employees.
These employees include but are not limited to: a
team of doctors, nurses, personnel, etc. Private prac-
tice doctors must acquire a different set of skills in
order to it to have a successful practice.
Dr. Christina Bonner, private practice owner, is an
Obstetrician and Gynecologist located near North-
western Hospital. Bonner is her own boss and runs
the practice, making her hours flexible and able to
make more money because she allocates where funds
go in her business. Bonner has a partnership with
Northwestern where she and her fellow doctors have
surgery and teaching privileges at the hospital. This
helps with having space to perform surgeries, deliver
babies and pet possible clientele.
Dr. Scott Sims, on the other hand, is an emer-
gency room doctor at a hospital. Sims says, “The most
challenging aspect to being an Emergency Medicine doctor is
caring for a wide variety of illnesses.” Since it is impossible
to master every medical specialty, he frequently relies
on consultants. Added to that is the pressure of deal-
ing with, at times, very emotionally charged situations.
This requires Sims to have a different set of skills
than a private practice doctor in another specialty.
There are many different medical specialties.
A student interested in being a doctor must eventually
explore these specialties as well as whether to be an
employee or have a private practice.
A little over two-thirds of physicians are
now employed as opposed to being in
This is despite the fact that employed physicians
($189,000 primary care, $258,000 specialists) make
less, in terms of cash compensation, than self-em-
ployed doctors ($212,000 primary care, $329,000 spe-
cialists). Students interested in being a doctor should
try to explore the different available specialties and
what it’s like to actually be a doctor by reading about
the field, conducting online research and working
to arrange informational interviews with doctors in
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Sweat With Swagg Fitness was created by a
young and ambitious man by the name of Cortez
Hicks. Mr. Hicks got the idea for his business in
Chicago when multiple females wanted to learn how
to “Wobble” and “Twerk”, two very popular dances
common at parties. He started to teach these dances
in classes, and it soon spread to colleges. After grad-
uating college, Mr. Hicks decided to turn his dance
classes into a business, promoting health and fitness
through fun aerobic dances.
Sweat with Swagg Fitness is located on the
south side of Chicago and offers aerobic dance
classes for all different fitness levels. Strength and
conditioning is also offered to members. In addition
to each class, a nutritional component is included.
This ensures that the person can learn to maintain a
healthy lifestyle and that all their hard work and exer-
cise isn’t going to waste by eating unhealthily. This is
especially important to Mr. Hicks because he believes
that a healthy and active lifestyle will help individuals
to lead longer and fuller life.Nick Messina, Northwestern Law Student and
Entrepreneurship Law Center Representative,
recently spoke to On the Money interns about
business entities. When making a decision about
business structure, there are four types to choose
1. Sole Proprietorship - a business entity which
legally has no separate existence from its owner and
has only one owner.
2. General Partnership - an association of at least
two parties who agree to share the management,
profit, and liability, with an intent to make a profit
(owners are called partners).
3. Corporation - There are two types:
a. C-Corp: Any corporation that, under U.S.
federal income tax law, is taxed separately from its
owners (double taxation).
b. S-Corp: A corporation that meets the IRS
requirements to be taxed under Subchapter S of
the Internal Revenue Code (flow-through taxation,
cannot be taxed twice).
4. Limited Liability Company - a hybrid business
entity having characteristics similar to a corporation
Messina advises when choosing a business entity
to consider: liability, taxes, controls, regulation/for-
malities and financing. While you might not have a
business to consider a formal legal entity for yet, it
is never too early to build knowledge that could help
you with this in the near future.
SWEAT WITH SWAG
with Cortez Hicks
4 TYPES OF
with Nick Messina Kaliah Little
Intern Samantha with Nick Messina
Middle School Entrepreneurs GO GREEN
at Sandoval Elementary School!
On February 23, 2016, I attended a special ceremony at Sandoval Elementary
School. Fourth through 8th grade students from Sandoval Elementary School,
that had previously entered and won a contest on environmental entrepreneur-
ship, were being honored. The event was organized by the Economic Awareness
Council (EAC), On the Money Magazine and the Museum of Science & Indus-
try and was sponsored by BMO Harris Bank.
Sandoval Elementary School’s Science Buddies club with the Museum of Science
& Industry was being honored with a banner unveiling at the school for winning
first place in the EAC’s Go Green Business Plan Competition for the third year
in a row.
Dignitaries from all over Chicago, such as lo-
cal school principals, business representatives
from BMO Harris Bank and a Chicago Public
Schools area chief all attended the ceremony
and communicated with the winners. I had
the opportunity to meet the children and pres-
ent their certificates to them.
Before the ceremony, I had the chance to in-
terview the program coordinator and students
who participated in the program in the past
year. The program coordinator explained that
the best part of the
entrepreneurship competition was that the
students were really excited about selling their product. The students said, “We are really excited to work on this year’s
project! We have so many ideas that we had to take time to decide on which one to work on.”
The children were very excited to earn their certificate and to be able to present to and network with the adult
guests. They are excited to participate in the upcoming contest and are determined to win four years in a row!
with Sandoval Student
Sandoval Elementary Science Buddies Club
THE POWER OF NETWORKING
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According to Google, networking is defined as
“interaction with people to exchange information
and develop contacts.” Networking is a skill that a
person develops over time and with experience. By
being part of On The Money Magazine, I was able to
learn how to network and have attended many events.
My favorite networking experience was the Small
Business on the Road Expo with the Office of the
City Treasurer of Chicago. I got an opportunity to
interview various people. At one of the events, I met
a Colombian woman who runs a not-for-profit com-
pany that teaches English to Spanish-speakers. I told
my mom about the program, and she referred one of
her friends who is now taking classes for free. None
of this would have been possible without networking!
Networking is a strategy that high schoolers should
learn to use when using social media as well as when
reaching out to personal and professional contacts.
According to Marcia Boyd, CEO
of Financial Aid 4 Success, LLC, net-
working is one of the most powerful
tools a professional will develop.
“ I got my first professional position at an annual conference
for graduate students, where my friend referred me to her boss.
Treat people well in your networks, and you will always come
out on top,” she says.
Networking helps you to connect with others that
have something in common with you but you will not
be able to take advantage of that common connection
unless you are READY! According to Tracy Frizzell,
Executive Director, Economic Awareness Council,
“When you’re networking, you have to have a pitch ready to
interest the other person in you and your business, but always
try to be a good listener and let people fully explain themselves
According to the U.S. Bureau of
Labor Statistics, 70% of jobs are found
In fact, four in ten job seekers found their favorite job
through a personal connection.
“It is important to keep an open mind while networking
because you never know if the people that you are talking
to might relate to your objective and goals. It takes a lot of
work so don’t be afraid to put yourself out there,” said Mrs.
Through On The Money, I learned how to come out
of my shell and go up to a complete stranger to talk
to them about anything.
ON THE MONEY:
Many Chicago teens and young adults will
be getting jobs this summer. Over 25,000 youth will
be hired by One Summer Chicago alone. Keeping a
job is as important as getting a job and is a great expe-
rience to have. Being self-disciplined during work will
give your co-workers and your managers a positive
vibe, causing them to think highly of you and making
your work a better place.
Follow these tips to help become self-disciplined at
Tip 1: Respect Yourself and Others
Respecting yourself and others will positively influ-
ence the way people perceive you. “[Respect] helps you
feel better about yourself and motivates you to continue working
hard,” says Ms.O’Connell, a college advisor.
Tip 2: Know Your Goals on the Job
and Come Up With a Plan to Get Tasks
Done on Time
Knowing what you are working to achieve and setting
specific, measurable and realistic goals is essential to
self-discipline and career success. According to Kathy
Caprino in Forbes, 2012, getting clarity on your career
goals is “the most important action if you want to achieve
anything significant in life.”
Tip 3: Being Self-Disciplined Could
Viewing your coworkers with a self-disciplined atti-
tude could help motivate YOU. “A positive aspect
could be that [your coworkers] might motivate you
directly or indirectly. For example, seeing someone
who is on task and managing their time well might
motivate you to be more disciplined so you can do
the same. On the other hand, seeing someone who
is constantly wasting time and stressing at the last
minute due to their poor decisions can also motivate
you to stay on task, so you do not end up in a similar
Tip 4: Being self-disciplined at work
results in a better connection with your
co-workers and managers.
Securing a reference is directly correlated to your per-
formance. Therefore, YOUR on the job performance
is the key.
Keeping these tips in mind will not only help you get
a job, they’ll also help you keep one while maintaining
strong relationships with your boss.
BEING SELF-DISCIPLINED AT WORK
AFTER THE INTERVIEW:
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One of the most important parts of job hunting is
the interview process, prepping for the interview, the
actual interview, etc. But, a most often forgotten but
crucial aspect is the post interview interactions.
In order to successfully follow up after an interview,
follow these five crucial steps.
1. Follow Up Immediately
It is recommended to follow up within 3-5 days after
the interview. “ [This] gives the employer time to
review all candidates, while you’re also showing con-
tinued interest before a final decision is made.” Says
McKenzie Marks. Following up consists of writing a
letter or sending an email to the interviewer, thanking
them for considering you for the position. Lainey Bell
of Linked In recommends “As soon as the interview
is over - you want to stay top of mind and show your
enthusiasm for the job. Email primarily because it gets
there faster and lots of companies make their deci-
sions well before a letter can get there.”
2. Use Social Media to Your Advantage!
Lainey Bell says “Connect with them on LinkedIn! If
you see they post an update (similar to a status update
on Facebook), either like it, comment on it, or share it
out to your network as well.” Your social media
profile is key to letting employers know who you are
as a person. Ultimately, you control the content of
your social media platforms (being mindful of nick-
names and “middle” names).
3. Keep it Professional
Beware of blasting the company/your interviewer on
social media if you were not selected for that posi-
tion; you never know if your interviewer may think
you are suited for another position down the road.
4. Ask for Feedback
Just because you did not get the job, does not mean
they will not help you. Ask the interviewer about how
you can improve in the future.
5. Don’t be Shy, Reach Out!
Remember, don’t be shy when it comes to contact-
ing your interviewer. A follow up email could be the
deciding factor between you and another candidate. A
former OTM contributor said “A lot of it is what you
know, but it’s also who you know.” Networking is es-
sential and does not stop after the interview process.
5 Simple Tips to Help You Land the Job!
READY FOR COLLEGE?
Since starting high school, I have been
asked about college and told what to do to get into
a good school. However, a lot of the information
I have been given is to generalized and is therefore
difficult to apply. A lot of freshman like me don’t
know how to start planning for college. I know
about the basics like getting good grades, partici-
pating in extracurricular activities, doing well on my
ACTs and building a relationship with my teachers
for recommendations, but what else is there that I
should do or know?
I recently received some specific advice
from Hilary Pham, a senior at Whitney Young. She
said, “Don’t stress out about the whole process of college”.
This means you shouldn’t join clubs only because
you think it will look good on your college applica-
tion, just do your best and have fun with what you
want to do.
Another thing I learned from Ricardo
Romero of ISAC, the Illinois Student Assistance
Commission, is that I can start learning now about
financial aid instead of waiting until senior year.
Ricardo is a recent college graduate who works
as an ISACCorps member educating juniors and
seniors about financial aid, making him an excellent
source of information. According to Ricardo, high
school students interested in attending college need
to know three main points:
1. Be aware of expenses in advance
2. Compare different schools and their admission
3. Use all of the resources available, such as counselors
and ISAC corp members
From the information that I gathered from these two people, I now have the
specific advice I was lacking before. As a result, I feel much more confident
about the college application process, and I hope that you feel the same as well.
Ricardo Romero speaks
to OTM Students
College Budgeting and Food Costs
Having money for college is the topic! These past two
months I have done a case study to vary my savings
and see how much I spend eating out for one month
versus not eating out at all. I began this case study
because I wanted to see how much money a college
student could possibly save or lose by eating out a lot.
What are expert tips to save on food costs? Tracy
Frizzell, Executive Director the Economic Awareness
Council & On the Money Magazine, suggests that you
keep your savings goal in mind and specific objectives
(or a list) while shopping. David Borom, Analyst at
Loop Capital, also recommends that you should make
a list before shopping and stick to the list so that you
don’t go over your budget. Although a lot of college
students have a meal plan, many still purchase a lot of
outside food for themselves.
How does this add up? For two months, I participat-
ed in a case study assessing the difference between
eating out every day versus cooking. I spent approxi-
mately $85 on outside food for one month of eating
out. During the month, I was completely unaware of
my spending, and I got so used to swiping my credit
card that I didn’t notice how much I had spent until I
checked my bank statement. This case study showed
me that it is imperative to not only manage money but
be aware of the food that I buy.
In a survey of 112 peers at
Rowe-Clark Academy, only
60% of students reported
that they had budgeted
before, and students gave
themselves a very average
rating on budgeting ability
with a 2.7 average rating
out of 5.
In contrast, 98% of youth
reported that they under-
stood the importance
How do Other
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It’s As Easy as 1, 2, 3: Apply! Save! Budget!
For seniors, as tax season comes to an end, FASFA and IDOC are completed and updated, and financial aid award
letters come out, college may seem like a confusing financial quagmire. This is especially true for students with large
gaps in their financial aid packets, leaving them with unmet need that is the difference between attending and not
attending the institution of their dreams.
When trying to close or reduce
unmet need gaps, it is important
that students apply for jobs/in-
ternships and scholarships. The
money gained from these sources
can be used to supplement college
fees and are wonderful resume
builders. To find 2016 summer
employment and internship op-
portunities, students should go to
the One Summer Chicago website
org) and click the “Apply Now”
button to be redirected to an ap-
plication with over 25,000 oppor-
tunities exclusively for Chicago
Chicago Public Schools (CPS)
hosts a plethora of scholarship
resources and applications, with
some scholarships that are for and
awarded to CPS students only,
at their Choose Your Future and
Academic Works website (https://
When you have been awarded
scholarships or receive paychecks
from your summer employment,
saving is a great way to help re-
duce unmet financial need. Please
be advised that some scholar-
ships go directly to the collegiate
institution; however, other schol-
arship foundations may deliver the
award directly to the scholarship
recipient in the form of a check.
If this applies to your situation,
it is imperative that you open a
free student savings account at an
FDIC accredited bank, where the
scholarship money can be in-
sured and gain interest (see www.
Plan2Achieve.org for a list of free
bank accounts for students). (Set
a savings goal and review other
financial literacy modules on the
Plan2Achieve website (http://
plan2achieve.org/) and you could
win a scholarship (see scholarship
details on the P2A website)).
This one goes almost without an
explanation. When we analyze
our spending habits and create
realistic and wise budgets, we tend
to spend and save better. High
school seniors and college
students alike can use the (FREE!)
College Budget Builder (CBB) app
to “get a handle on [their] money
management plan for college”
er.org/#/login). Students can use
their financial aid award letters to
plug figures into the CBB which
will, in turn, help them concep-
tualize the actual cost of college.
The College Budget Builder does
a wonderful job of revealing the
hidden costs of college to stu-
dents, and it is an absolute must
for any first year college students.
INCOME INEQUALITY AND
A problem persists in low-income neighbor-
hoods not only in the City of Chicago, but through-
out the nation. This problem has the potential to take
away one’s opportunity to learn and become suc-
cessful. This problem is called the School-to-Prison
The School-to-Prison Pipeline, as reported
by journalist Marilyn Elias, consists of “policies that
encourage police presence at schools, harsh tactics
including physical restraint, and automatic punish-
ments that result in suspensions and out-of-class
time.” Well, at least that’s a part of what the School-
to-Prison Pipeline is. The Pipeline can essentially lead
to an individual getting introduced to the criminal
justice system, especially African-Americans. Ac-
cording to the University of Chicago’s Consortium
on School Research, African-American males and
females are much more likely to attend schools with
high suspension rates. Additionally, according to Elias,
1 in 6 Black students were suspended during the 2009
- 2010 school year. These suspensions can lead to a
loss of educational time.
Dr. David Stovall, a professor of Afri-
can-American Studies and Educational Policy Studies
at the University of Illinois at Chicago, believes that
the quality of locally available education is heavily
connected with one’s level of income. “The education
system is based off of property taxes. This guarantees that
those who don’t have strong property taxes, or those who live
in low-income neighborhoods, have fewer resources in the public
education system,” he said during an interview. Funda-
mentally, those who are low-income and have limited
access to resources are those who could potentially
receive a lower quality of education.
like the School-
line and school
ity are reasons
to pay attention
to the larger world around them. We must continue to
ask questions around what is relevant in terms of our
lives & in what ways we can contribute to the chang-
ing of the conditions that lead to exploitation and
marginalization. We must stay aware of problems that
persist around us.
“Be the change you want to
see in the world.”
1) Increase positive supports.
2) Track incidents.
3) Work with the police.
4) Have clear policies in the
5) Provide special teacher training.
Tips for Reducing
Should Chicago Public School Teachers
GO ON STRIKE FOR BETTER PAY?
Should Chicago Public School (CPS) Teach-
ers go on strike for better pay? This great question
impacts everyone involved in Chicago’s public educa-
tion institutions. So who better to ask than a teacher?
During an interview conducted with a Chicago Public
Schools teacher, Mr. Wilson of Kenwood Academy,
when the topic of potentially going on strike was
introduced, his initial response seemed apprehensive.
“It’s tough”, he said shaking his head, “there’s so much
to consider and we’re trying to figure out what’s best for the
students as well as ourselves.”
The total fiscal year 2016 budget $5.7 billion
(cps.edu), which is a reduction of about 69 million
dollars from the fiscal year 2015 budget.
Of the total budget, $2.3 billion comes from
property taxes and effectively 750 million in addi-
tional funding needs to be identified. This additional
funding would equate to a 33% increase in property
tax contribution in order to make up for this deficit.
This is equivalent to a $785 dollar tax increase for the
average Chicago homeowner (fy2016 cps budget, p.
The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) conduct-
ed their first strike April 1st. In the event that teachers
go on strike again in late May, CTU teachers risk pos-
sibly losing their salary, health insurance and possibly
the support of parents who may become upset due to
the inconvenience of having to find a place for their
child to go due to this decision.
Contingency plans for CPS graduates are
expected to continue normally. Graduating seniors
and 8th grade activities and ceremonies can continue
as planned. If CTU teachers refuse to participate in
these events non-CTU teachers are planned to be in
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