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Mission SF FCU helps teens avoid economic pitfalls
SAN FRANCISCO (6/29/09)--A team of youth who reached out to more than 500 young San Franciscans to teach them about financial literacy is passing its responsibilities to a new team of youth charged with teaching their peers about money. The founders of the Youth Trainers for Economic Power (YTEP) prepared its new team by providing tips and reflections on their experiences with YTEP at a June 10 event in San Francisco. YTEP was founded by eight youth three years ago in connection with the Mission SF Community Financial Center, the nonprofit affiliate of Mission SF FCU in San Francisco. “Although we are moving on, we feel content that our work and efforts will continue to be carried out by a new generation of YTEP leaders,” said Glenda Flores, 18, YTEP founder. “The knowledge and experience we have learned during our participation, we will take with us and continue to create change in our community, our nation and the world.” During their tenure, YTEP founders developed a youth-friendly financial curriculum relevant to youth from urban low-income and immigrant families. They also developed an evaluation system to test the curriculum, shot videos to bring the concepts of economics and investment to life, and designed visuals. YTEP hopes to continue expanding, according to Margaret Libby, Mission SF Community Financial Center executive director. “Our vision with YTEP is to prepare youth to navigate the financial system as empowered consumers and to inspire them to be community leaders and advocates for improved financial services and a more equitable financial system overall,” she said. “We are growing the program to reach more youth in San Francisco, as well as other places, in particular communities like ours with a high concentration of fringe outlets.” One in two African-Americans and Latinos in San Francisco are unbanked and use high-cost fringe outlets, such as payday lenders, for transactions--costing $2,000 annually. YTEP aims to help low-income youth and youth of color who will be targets of predatory financial outlets when they turn 18, the center said. Mission SF Community Financial Center operates youth employment, leadership and financial training programs. It receives support from Patelco CU, San Francisco, the RMJ Foundation and others.
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