“Who here wants to learn about making money?” This is the opening line that our very own Senior Wealth Advisor, Peter Burnham, CFP®, has used over the last three years when teaching underprivileged high school students in Washington, D.C. about the basics of money and investing. Wanting to give back to the community and use his eighteen years of financial services experience in doing so, Peter and his close friend Antwone Harris, also a certified financial planner, have visited over twenty high schools in the Washington, D.C. area to teach a class on financial literacy to juniors and seniors. This interactive class, in which the students create their own company and choose where to invest their money, teaches students the importance of saving early and diversifying their assets when they graduate and begin working.
When asked why he teaches this class, Peter said that, “Many of us learn the importance of saving money and the different avenues to do so from our parents at an early age. I know I did! However, many disadvantaged children never get the opportunity to do that, and personal finance education is not required in the majority of high schools to graduate. As a result, many low income children are graduating high school with little to no financial knowledge.”
By joining forces, Peter and Antwone are looking to change that one high school at a time with this financial literacy class. In the little free time that he still has, Peter is working with two non-profit organizations to create a financial literacy syllabus that can be taught and replicated in high schools nationwide.
Peter’s goal, from the first day he started in the financial services industry, has been to make a positive impact on the person sitting across from him. Doing this through teaching could have exponential returns, as Malala Yousafzai once said, “One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.”