A 16-year-old student in Greencastle is looking to fill the financial literacy gap among students in his community and beyond. Isaac Hertenstein founded the nonprofit Students Teaching Finance, a program that was inspired by the lack of financial education in his school and throughout Indiana, which is not one of 13 states in the U.S. that requires a personal finance class. Hertenstein gained national attention by being one of five grand prize winners of New Jersey-based Prudential Financial’s (NYSE: PRU) Emerging Visionaries program.
Hertenstein talked about his mission in an interview on Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick.
“What I’m trying to do is teach young students foundational financial topics that essentially can plant seeds in them and begin the learning process when it comes to finance,” said Hertenstein. “So, that comes across from anything like careers to investing to as basic as needs versus wants.”
The program is targeted at students in kindergarten through eighth grade. In addition to in-class teaching, the nonprofit has launched a website to deliver its curriculum.
At the Emerging Visionaries program, which was held at Prudential’s headquarters in New Jersey, Hertenstein took home a total of $15,000 for his idea. He said the event was a great opportunity to not only meet other like-minded students but also many executives from Prudential.
Hertenstein says while he doesn’t envision Students Teaching Finance as a major money-making endeavor, he does have plans for future growth.
“What we’re trying to do is almost change society at a small level and then scale it hopefully into other states, which we’ve already begun doing through other high schoolers teaching this curriculum to their younger peers.”
You can learn more about Students Teaching Finance by clicking here.