YouthBuild and MyPath Partnership Helps Young People Build Financial Skills and Savings

Posted November 9, 2022
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
young office workers engaged in a discussion while looking at a monitor

Two Annie E. Casey Foun­da­tion grantees have teamed up to help young peo­ple save, use cred­it and man­age their mon­ey – all key skills for sup­port­ing life­long finan­cial well-being.

Youth­Build USA — which spans 220 pro­grams nation­wide — offers job train­ing and edu­ca­tion­al oppor­tu­ni­ties to young peo­ple who are unem­ployed, not in school and between the ages of 16 and 24. MyPath is a San Fran­cis­co-based non­prof­it that equips young peo­ple with the finan­cial tools and knowl­edge need­ed to build wealth and eco­nom­ic mobil­i­ty. These orga­ni­za­tions have joined forces to fos­ter finan­cial capa­bil­i­ty in work­ing youth and young adults since 2018.

Under­stand­ing the Eco­nom­ic Bar­ri­ers Young Peo­ple Face

Over the past four years, nine Youth­Build sites across the Unit­ed States have imple­ment­ed MyPath’s finan­cial capa­bil­i­ty mod­el. The move has helped more than 420 young peo­ple build the skills nec­es­sary to bol­ster their cred­it and savings.

The need for such edu­ca­tion is real, with four out of five low-income young adults fac­ing cred­it bar­ri­ers, accord­ing to MyPath.

After par­tic­i­pat­ing in MyPath’s sav­ings and cred­it-readi­ness work­shops, Youth­Build par­tic­i­pants com­mit­ted to sav­ing, on aver­age, 32% of their earn­ings, with their top sav­ings goals being trans­porta­tion, hous­ing and tech­nol­o­gy,” says Andrea Giese, MyPath’s direc­tor of devel­op­ment and com­mu­ni­ca­tions. Of par­tic­i­pants sur­veyed, 81% report­ed an increase in con­fi­dence when using cred­it for auto loans, cred­it cards or mortgages.” 

Finan­cial edu­ca­tion and safe bank­ing mat­ters, says Giese. Young peo­ple who have access to these resources learn how to bet­ter iden­ti­fy and avoid preda­to­ry loans, under­stand their rights as con­sumers, pre­pare for finan­cial emer­gen­cies and devel­op finan­cial security.

To suc­ceed as adults, young peo­ple need to under­stand how to man­age their finances,” says Bead­sie Woo, direc­tor of fam­i­ly and youth finan­cial sta­bil­i­ty with the Casey Foun­da­tion. Work­ing hand in hand, Youth­Build and MyPath are pro­vid­ing incred­i­bly valu­able finan­cial men­tor­ship to the next gen­er­a­tion of workers.”

Finan­cial Lit­er­a­cy Lessons for Youth From the Field

Accord­ing to Giese, MyPath and Youth­Build USA have iden­ti­fied sev­er­al lessons from their part­ner­ship that will inform future finan­cial capa­bil­i­ty pro­grams. These are: 

  1. Ensure part­ner­ships have buy-in from all lev­els. Sites should con­sis­tent­ly engage lead­er­ship and finance team mem­bers and invite them to attend reg­u­lar meet­ings and train­ing workshops.
  2. Adapt to fit each site’s unique needs. MyPath staff con­sid­er the country’s exist­ing finan­cial land­scape and work­ing to bet­ter under­stand local needs, resources and policies.
  3. Rec­og­nize that guid­ance and finan­cial men­tor­ing is an ongo­ing process. Youth­Build par­tic­i­pants con­tin­ue to need assis­tance as they advance toward their finan­cial goals — and as they enter into young adult­hood. Accord­ing­ly, MyPath is work­ing toward imple­ment­ing its finan­cial men­tor­ing mod­el at all Youth­Build part­ner sites.

MyPath Looks Toward the Future

In 2021, MyPath devel­oped a near peer-to-peer” pilot mod­el that trained Youth­Build pro­gram alum­ni to act as facil­i­ta­tors. The ini­tia­tive was suc­cess­ful, prompt­ing MyPath to imple­ment the approach at all Youth­Build part­ner sites across the country.

In 2023, MyPath plans to launch a finan­cial tech­nol­o­gy plat­form called MyPath NEXT. Designed using feed­back from Youth­Build par­tic­i­pants, the new plat­form con­nects young peo­ple to finan­cial edu­ca­tion, men­tors and youth-friend­ly prod­ucts and ser­vices as well as tools for track­ing spend­ing, sav­ing and cred­it scores.

Learn more about build­ing finan­cial lit­er­a­cy in young people

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