MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. — Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is receiving a grant to help teach more Black and Hispanic students about financial literacy.
Michael Jordan teamed up with Next Gen Personal Finance, a California nonprofit, to help students learn skills like maintaining good credit, investing in the stock market, and preparing financially for life after high school.
Unfortunately, not everyone has the foundation for good money management.
"If your parents don't know about this, they can't pass it down to you," Tori Mansfield, Next Gen Personal Finance (NGPF) senior program manager, said. "And if their parents didn't know about it, they can't pass it down to you, and so on, and so on."
This is the case for millions of Black and Hispanic students in high school.
Financial literacy can impact things like knowing how to save for a house or avoiding student loan debt.
"We want to make sure that Black and Latino students are aware of that as well as aware of how to manage their finances once they leave high school, so they are prepared for the future," Mansfield said.
NGPF is on a mission to bridge the gap between students who are prepared to handle money.
The nonprofit organization has a mission to guarantee that by 2030 all students will take a one-semester personal finance course before graduating high school.
NGPF provides middle and high school educators tools and training to teach financial skills with confidence, at no cost. These pieces of training consist of financial literacy curriculum, including personal finance, math, and economics collections. The organization also has Spanish translations.
"Michael Jordan and Jordan Brand gave us a substantial amount and that NGPF is matching that amount to make sure we reach as many students as possible," Mansfield said.
Investopedia conducted a study that shows when tested on basic financial literacy questions Hispanic and Black American both scored below the national average.
The grant will help fund a new position at CMS for three years.
"A district-level position that is dedicated to professional development for the teachers and educators who will be teaching that economics and personal finance class, as well as NGPF is providing free curriculum and free professional development," Mansfield said.
CMS joins at least four other districts across the country receiving the grant —and it's estimated to impact almost half a million students nationwide.
School districts impacted include public high schools in Philadelphia, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Fulton County Schools in Georgia, Guilford County Schools in North Carolina, and Detroit Public Schools Community District.
"Our organization reached out to Charlotte-Mecklenburg because obviously, we know about the connection that Michael Jordan has there as his home state," Mansfield said. "And also Charlotte-Mecklenburg public schools recently guaranteed all high schoolers will take one-semester personal finance, economics course."
School systems were also chosen due to their large number of students, and the percentage of Black and Hispanic students ranges from 56-95%.