While the subjects ubiquitously taught in US high schools are typically math, science, history, and English, many have pointed out that there is a crucial missing category that young people really need to be aware of as they mature: finance.
Many children grow up either learning about finance by watching their parents handle money or in a void where there is never a conversation about the subject.
This is especially typical of low-income households, where families are often too focused on everyday life to think about how to prepare their children for their own financial future.
However, one musician wants to use her fame as a platform to give those kids the financial smarts they need to better navigate the world as adults.
Her grandmother helped set up the Icy Baby Foundation
Grammy-nominated rapper Saweetie wants to help people gain a better understanding of financial literacy at a young age. That is why she is launching a brand new financial literacy course for children between the ages of 7 and 17.
Those who attend the course receive a paid debit card and learning resources on everything from saving and budgeting to general financial planning.
“I want to continue using my foundation and resources to financially empower young children and students, especially in Black and Brown communities,” Saweetie said of the initiative.
“The long-term goal of the Icy Baby Foundation is to increase children’s financial literacy and lead them to a brighter future,” she added.
Saweetie launched the nonprofit Icy Baby Foundation in 2021 with the help of her grandmother, Roxanne Glass. Her first goal is to make financial literacy resources available to children to give them the building blocks needed to manage money well.
“The reason why I’m so sensitive about that is because I have to help my damn self,” she said in a May 2022 interview with Glamor. “Just putting money in the savings account is not enough – especially not enough to create wealth for you, your family or your children for generations. It’s important that we raise these young kids so that it’s something that’s imprinted in their mind, so it’s not something they try to figure out as adults.
Saweetie has also guest lectured at her alma mater, the University of Southern California, for courses in Venture Feasibility and Venture Initiation.
The racial wealth gap is getting worse
The average black or Latino household earns about half of the average white household and owns only about 15 to 20 percent of net worth, the Federal Reserve reports.
This is an example of the racial wealth gap, and a closer look reveals even more disturbing numbers. White households owned 86.8 percent of total wealth in the country, according to the 2019 Consumer Finance Survey — and the gap continues to widen.
Those involved in conversations about the racial wealth gap have often pointed out that black financial education lags behind whites — only 3.9% of low-income students are required to take a personal finance course to graduate from high school.
However, Saweetie’s popularity among Gen Z fans could change that. With 12.9 million followers on Instagram, she already has a huge audience that loves what she does — making her the perfect advocate for information that can significantly help young people of color.