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Finance class hopes to bridge the racial wealth gap one student at a time

Fifth graders at Rowan Elementary School are learning how to manage their money.
Fifth graders at Rowan Elementary School learned about financial literacy.
Published: Jan. 19, 2022 at 7:50 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 19, 2022 at 7:52 PM CST
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Students at Rowan Elementary School learned a lot about financial literacy during their first Financial Foundations by Dave Ramsey course.

The instructor of the class is Tony A. Reimonenq Jr. He’s also the executive director of the nonprofit, Linked Up.

“We’re taught the key is the basics of finances, basically the behavior behind making financially wise choices. How being financially well-off is 80 percent behavior and 20 percent head knowledge,” said Reimonenq.

Fifth-grader Kennedy White was taking a lot of notes on making financially wise choices. Kennedy says she’s going to save her money.

“I would like it to be enough because I want to go to a college, and I can help the homeless out,” said Kennedy.

Wednesday was only the first day, and Isaiah Steward has already learned how to make his money grow.

“I learned how to invest my money and start a business, or you can start your business and do something else with your money and start saving it,” said Steward.

Reimonenq says he wanted to bring financial literacy to low-income communities.

“Community Bank and the National Bar Association are also behind this project. Our mission is to close the wealth gap. There are 21 states that have financial literacy as a prerequisite for graduation, but the numbers declined drastically when it comes to black and brown kids, and we wanted to close that gap,” said Reimonenq.

Reimonenq says closing the gap means learning the difference between the rich and the wealthy.

Fifth-grader Isaiah Steward says he already knows what to do when he becomes wealthy.

“I would buy a house, a mansion, for my mama, and buy her two cars and pay the bills,” said Isaiah

Reimonenq says the class is going to last for nine weeks. He hopes to grow the program in the future.

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