Flor, an Earn to Learn Success Coach, stopped by her local Starbucks one Saturday morning. As she stood waiting for her latte, she noticed a young Hispanic man nervously shifting from foot to foot next to her. When she asked him why he was so nervous, he told her he was there to apply for a job. “Aren’t you in college?” she asked him, seeing that he was about 18 years old. The young man replied that he wanted to go to college, but that his mom could not afford tuition and books for him, especially since he had three younger siblings at home. Although not on duty at the time, Flor told that young man about Earn to Learn, gave him her number, and said,

“Call me on Monday morning if you want to go to college.”

The young man did call, and he was accepted into the program, where he received several hours of financial education. With Flor’s encouragement, he started saving $50 each month and depositing it in his Individual Development Account.  When his account reached $500, the young man entered Arizona State University and began his college career, the first in his family to go to college.

If you think that’s the best part of this story, just wait.

A few months after the young man started school, his mother called Flor. One by one, she had started IDA accounts for her remaining three children. “I never thought I could afford to send my children to college, but thanks to you, they’ll all have the opportunity for higher education.”

Earn to Learn is a revolutionary “savings to scholarship” program that prepares low- to moderate-income high school students for college by offering personal finance and college readiness training, financial coaching, peer mentoring, and ongoing support. Eligible students who complete the personal finance training program, establish a habit of savings and save $500 in their IDA can receive an 8:1 match on their savings, up to $4,000. These funds may be applied to tuition and tuition-related costs at ASU, NAU or the UA.

Posted on: May 5, 2016