Educating youth across the country on smart financial decisions

As the financial services arm of One Toyota, our team members are always eager to serve our local communities by working with youth on financial education. During Financial Empowerment month in April, 63% of our offices conducted events, serving 728 students through Junior Achievement, Girl Scouts of the USA, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and other non-profit partners.

Whether it was the Detroit DSSO providing their “two cents,” or CSC East and HQ working with middle-schoolers in a “simulated economy” at Junior Achievement’s BizTown, this was an incredibly empowering month serving youth across the entire country. Nearly 200 team members participated in events organized by Community Ambassadors, Team IMPACT, and Business Partnering Groups. Thanks for all you do! Check out a few of these highlights from TFS field locations.

Baltimore DSSO

Baltimore DSSO team member leads financial education activities with youth at the Boys & Girls Club of Westminster.

On Wednesday, April 25, Barbara Dawson, Allison Hancock, and Nick Moriconi of the Baltimore DSSO led financial education activities with children at the Boys & Girls Club of Westminster. Through games like “Pay Day” and “Price is Right,” as well as open discussion about financial terms, credit cards, vehicle expenses, interest rates, and more, the Toyota Team Members in Baltimore had a fun time helping these youth learn about planning a successful financial future.

CSC East

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On April 5, 2018, team members at CSC East volunteered at Junior Achievement’s BizTown, guiding students from Lansdowne Middle School through a fully interactive simulated free market. Junior Achievement is a longstanding partner with Toyota, and this is one way team members across the country get involved in helping students practice “real world” roles. Prior to attending BizTown, the students applied for various roles such as CEO, CFO, marketing manager, and even the town mayor. Weeks of in-classroom curriculum prepared them for the immersive experience, and first-hand knowledge from the Toyota volunteers made this an even more valuable financial education opportunity.

Detroit DSSO

On May 9, 2018, the Boys & Girls Club of Southeastern Michigan welcome Detroit DSSO team members to their Dick & Sandy Dauch campus for a fun day of financial education with the students. Club Director Chris Kyles joined Credit Analysts Adam Reitemeier and Jennifer Hoang to kick off the day, then led a series of interactive games.

“The first game we played was bingo, where I gave tips on how to be financially responsible while emphasizing certain words on their Bingo cards. We then discussed the difference between essential spending and when to save, did a super-fun crossword puzzle, and then finished with some trivia, where the teens were split into two teams to compete for prizes,” said Hoang.

One of the prizes: a TFS piggy bank. And this bank was already jump-started with some savings. “We wanted to give them something to start out their quest for financial empowerment without breaking the bank. My love for bad puns led me to the idea to add two cents to each piggy bank,” said Reitemeier. “These are the seeds to grow your financial fortunes,” he told the youth. “Nurture and water these seeds with more money set aside for savings.”

Kansas City DSSO

Team Members from the Kansas City DSSO volunteered at the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Kansas City, Wyandotte County Unit.

Nashville DSSO

Toyota Team Member Laurie Eakes led financial empowerment activities with students at her local Boys & Girls Club on April 11, 2018. When Eakes read “Lemonade for Sale,” the students learned how to open a lemonade stand to make money, examining the rise and fall of lemonade sales.

Puerto Rico

Team Members in Puerto Rico led financial empowerment activities with students at Boys & Girls Clubs of Puerto Rico.

San Antonio DSSO

Toyota Team Members from the San Antonio DSSO with youth at the Eastside Branch of the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Antonio, during their volunteer day for TFS’ Financial Empowerment month.

St. Louis DSSO

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Team Members at the St. Louis DSSO led volunteer activities at two Boys & Girls Clubs: both the Saint Charles Boys & Girls Club (April 4, 2018), and the O’Fallon Boys & Girls Club (April 11, 2018). The volunteers focused on educating the students on wants vs. needs, and what that means financially. For example, many students talked about wanting a new Nintendo Switch or Xbox. Credit Analyst Craig VanLeeuwen told a personal story about when he had bought an Xbox on a credit card when he was young. “I told them how much the original cost was and then how much it actually cost me by the time I paid off the interest.” This transitioned to a learning module “Financial Football Program,” in which the students learned about the different uses of debit, credit, and secured cards and how credit card balances can easily add up. They may be rethinking how they pay for that new Xbox now!

Dealer Services Operations Manager John Thro met one 13-year-old student, however, who couldn’t be convinced he had any wants. “All he cared about was saving and making money. His only want was to invest in oil stocks.” Thro has been following the young student’s suggestion, and thinks he could be making some profit today! Our volunteers are always learning from the students as well!

Credit Supervisor Daniel Newbold sums up his experience volunteering during Financial Empowerment month: “Financial literacy is a large part of what we do every day in our jobs at the Dealer Sales and Service Office. Being able to share our knowledge and financially empower our local youth at the Boys & Girls Clubs is so incredibly impactful for everyone involved.”