Scouts learn merits of thrift
To be better prepared for the future, girls and their moms attend a financial seminar at UMKC.
After hearing a federal bankruptcy judge talk Saturday about the dangers of using credit unwisely, 13-year-old Raevion Wells of Kansas City said she had learned an important lesson.
“I know now not to go out of town and max out my card,” said Raevion, who plans to use the knowledge later in life once she gets a credit card.
That way, she could get a student loan if she needs one, a car and a good-paying job, said Raevion, a student at the Derrick Thomas Academy in Kansas City.
Raevion said she is confident she now knows how to make that happen.
“I won’t get denied on any of those things because of my credit score,” she said.
Raevion was among nearly 150 girls and mothers who attended “Making Cent$ in the City,” a one-day financial education workshop put on by the Women’s Foundation of Greater Kansas City and the Girl Scouts of Northeast Kansas and Northwest Missouri. The workshop was at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
The Girl Scout council introduced the Making Cent$ in the City badge program in 2009. To earn the badge, a scout had to participate in eight workshop sessions Saturday. The Women’s Foundation created its own badge that was handed out to the girls.
The workshop also was open to girls who were not Scouts.
After her first session, Raevoin said what she heard might influence how she makes purchases.
“I want to say that maybe I won’t buy it, or at least not on my credit card,” Raevion said. “I will try to at least save up and buy it with my own money and save the credit card for emergencies.”
The program was designed for girls in grades six through 12 and their parents to teach them about checking accounts, debit cards, credit cards, credit scores, budgeting and job preparation.
Dennis Dow, the chief bankruptcy judge for the Western District of Missouri, said it was E. THOMAS MCCLANAHAN | B9
important to teach children financial management skills so that when they are older they use credit wisely and avoid learning lessons the hard way.
“We just don’t want to see them in our courts, and this is one way help make that a reality,” Dow said.
Dawn Oliver, the executive director of the Women’s Foundation, said her organization developed the program with the Girls Scouts to help women and girls take financial responsibility for their futures.
“The decisions they are making today are going to impact them the rest of their lives,” Oliver said. “If a young woman is not financially selfsufficient and does not have some good career plans and ends up getting pregnant and dropping out of high school, they are 90 percent likely to stay that way and they are 90 percent likely to turn that over to their children. That cycle of poverty will continue.”
Emmie Kennicott-Fuhlhage of Olathe, who attended the workshop with her 12-yearold daughter, Hannah Fuhlhage, said that for her, financial topics were like a mental garage door closing.
“I am one of those who saves money, but I would really rather not deal with it,” Kennicott-Fuhlhage said. “I wanted to educate myself a little bit better.”
Kennicott-Fuhlhage said she brought Hannah to the workshop so they both would become more financially literate. Hannah is a sixthgrader at Havencroft Elementary School in Olathe.
As a parent, making sure your children are financially literate is extremely important, Kennicott-Fuhlhage said.
“I know people who work very hard, make good money, but don’t have much financial sense and I have seen what that can do.” To reach Robert A. Cronkleton, call 816-234-4261 or send e-mail to bcronkle[email protected]star.com.