By Brooklyn Reader

March 30, 2015, 5:56 pm

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Mayor Bill de Blasio, today, signed a bill requiring the Department of Consumer Affairs to provide financial literacy outreach and education to young adults ages 16-24.

Under the measure, educational materials related to consumer products commonly available to young adults – such as student loans and credit cards – must be made available at public schools and CUNY schools, as well as online, to ensure young adults are financially literate.

In his remarks, the Mayor thanked the bill’s sponsor, Brooklyn City Council Members Mark Treyger, and Rafael Espinal, Jr.

City Councilman Rafael Espinal
City Councilman Rafael Espinal

“I would like to thank the Mayor for signing Intro. 458-A, a measure that proactively seeks to educate and connect young people with some of the tools they need to become savvy consumers,” said Espinal. “Statistics suggest there is a need for financial education targeted to young adults. It is sad to hear that as much as 12 percent of them are unbanked, 43 percent have used non-bank methods of borrowing, and 34 percent have engaged in three or more costly credit card behaviors.”

Treyger noted that with our teenagers and young adults being targeted by financial institutions like never before, the city must give them the knowledge to make smart decisions with their money.

“These decisions will have a long term impact on their financial health and on their ability to get ahead in life, so we must help them understand the ramifications of taking on loans and the benefits of responsibly building credit,” said Treyger. “This bill will ensure that we inform and empower the next generation of New Yorkers to avoid serious financial pitfalls and build a strong foundation for the future.”

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One Response

  1. Robert Church

    DeBlasio is actually on the right track here and one organization has been working to develop a standards based approach to Financial Literacy Education like no other. Governor A. David Paterson is a board member of DoughMain Education Foundation (DMEF). DMEF strives to close the financial literacy gap in our country and build stronger communities — one student, one classroom, and one school at a time.

    The goal of DMEF is to build financial literacy in students and prepare them for a lifetime of financial responsibility through child centered, multi-sensory programs delivered directly to schools and homes at no cost. Our engaging programs and visionary approach promote sustained learning and will provide educators the opportunity to address the individual the needs of the individual learner. By developing effective financial literacy skills in students, we empower young adults to take control of their lives.

    According to a recent FINRA Investor Education Foundation study, individuals were asked five basic financial literacy and decision making questions related such topics as interest, interest rates and inflation. The study reported that an average of 64% answered three or less correctly. In an at-risk community, widespread inability to understand key financial concepts and manage personal finances wisely can be especially destructive to individuals, the overall community and society as a whole. Over one person’s lifetime, the total price tag can be tallied in forgone savings and investment opportunities, lives shattered by financial loss or bankruptcy, higher prices paid for necessary goods and services, dreams and aspirations that go unfulfilled and marital discord about money. The collective loss in dollars resulting from common financial errors to individuals and the community just has to be tremendous.

    Over the past three years DMEF has piloted a program called the FitKit which makes learning fun due to its innovative game model to over 2100 middle and high school students in a NJ school district. The result was a four-fold improvement in financial literacy scores. Our organization is ready to take our program to the next level. Working with June Jaffee, from the Muriel Siebert Foundation and Carol Glade, financial literacy and curriculum consultant extraordinaire as well as a team of highly skilled and experienced educators to establish a more diverse and scalable model of our financial literacy curriculum. The costs associated with these program enhancements is the basis for our High School FitKit Initiative, which will focus on at-risk and diverse communities and will provide thousands of students with a comprehensive personal financial literacy education that meets state and national standards.

    By assisting us in this effort to bring financial Literacy education to schools, especially those in urban communities you can help to bring our financial literacy education program to a child. The opportunity you have provided can have a real world effect on that young person’s life resulting in an improved quality of life and affecting our businesses and communities.

    To learn more about DoughMain Education Foundation’s work please visit our website:, follow us on twitter @DoughMainEdu and like us on Face book. To become an active participant in supporting financial literacy education that can effect real lives and the quality of life in your community please consider sharing our visiting us and learning more about our work today.

    Kind Regards,
    Robert M. Church,
    Director of Engagement
    DoughMain Education Foundation


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