One of the things that I love about being a blogger is that you get to partner with some of the coolest brands + companies. On Thursday I attended the #FutureSmart Challenge, MassMutual’s national program that brings financial education to middle and high school students. Hosted in partnership with actor/author Hill Harper + various NBA teams, the #FutureSmart Challenge provides live interactive seminars that inspire and empower students with critical money management skills while also offering cutting edge digital curricula in schools across the US.
That morning I attended a networking panel with Tammy Sawyer (Teach for America), Chris Coleman (Teach for America), and Linda Williams (RISE Memphis) where they discussed the economical challenges that our city faces (Hill moderated). Avoiding predatory lending, making smarter financial decisions at home and how to work on it as a community were discussed. I personally enjoyed the fact that it wasn’t just a “canned” presentation, but an open and honest conversation with people that actually live and work in Memphis who are striving for improvement (check out video below).
After the breakfast, we headed down to the stadium for the #FutureSmart Challenge. Almost 3,000 students from around the city were brought in to talk about “Smart Money vs Dumb Money”, and learn practical tips on how to not only save money but MANAGE money, which is what many people struggle with, no matter what their socioeconomic standing is.
Hill gets into the crowd, asking and answering the kids’ questions while giving them real life examples of how they can better use their money. It’s educational but also fun: there’s a live DJ, they passed out t-shirts, the Grizz mascot comes out, and they even have a dance contest with teachers (HILARIOUS). There’s also a dunk contest (there’s video on my IG) and a performance from the Grizzlie’s Drumline Team.
Shooting Guard Troy Daniels even came out to chat before he headed to practice.
His biggest tip for the kids was to “stay in your lane” when it comes to managing your money. Learn how to wait and save your money for what you want instead of using credit cards, and don’t think that you have to buy what everyone else is buying just because you have the money. The students absolutely loved it. They’re also given packets that they can take home and share with their parents and family. In addition, there are in-school events in partnership with Junior Achievement so that their education can continue beyond a day of fun. It’s pretty neat!
Fun fact: the #FutureSmart Challenge actually launched in Memphis 4 years ago with Hill after he received an award via the National Civil Rights Museum, so it was pretty cool to see it come full circle and learn about what it has expanded to today. The event was for kids but I truly enjoyed myself as well. I can’t wait to dig into Hill’s book!
What’s been your best financial tip re: managing money?
This post was sponsored by MassMutual, but all opinions are my own.