Twenty years ago, Blossoming Rose Mincey joined the National Association of Real Estate Broker's South Florida Realtist Women's Council, a non-profit dedicated to educating people in financial literacy. She quickly developed an affinity for giving others the opportunity to learn essential real-world skills and achieve financial stability. Blossoming has been teaching financial literacy for the past seven years; over the past year, she has taught programs at both Broadview Elementary School and Redondo Elementary School in South Florida. She has reached at least 1,000 students in both programs in the past year.
Her principal at Broadview Elementary School recognizes that financial literacy education enhances the public school curriculum and is supportive of the monthly computer-based class that reaches students from kindergarten through fifth grade. At Redondo Elementary School, she is involved with the Kids and the Power of Work (KAPOW) Program, which brings together businesses, communities and schools to teach elementary school children about career awareness. Blossoming teaches concepts such as earning money, developing budgets, saving, opening checking accounts and making money decisions. To supplement her lessons, Blossoming uses the Practical Money Skills for Life curriculum and attends seminars and workshops to gain more in financial literacy education.
"We are very hands-on and activity-oriented with our lessons," says Blossoming. One example is the 'What's My Job' summer program, students dress up as a profession they might want to be when they grow up. Professionals in their chosen field, including firefighters, models and movie makers, visit the classroom and talk about what they do. The students then develop financial goals based on what they've learned, which includes preparing a daily budget. The 'What's My Job' summer program allows students to play and learn at the same time.
Blossoming's education efforts are not limited to the classroom. Last year, students participated in a holiday toy drive initiated by Hazelle P. Rogers, member of the Florida House of Representatives and Mayor of North Lauderdale Jack Brady. The students earned play money they could spend on donated gifts for themselves or their friends and family. "We were able to teach them the value of money and they could apply those lessons right away," explains Blossoming.
One of her favorite experiences teaching financial literacy to youth is what she calls the 'aha moment.' She teaches her students to think before spending to help them understand that they can make choices about their own money. "They could spend the money right away on a piece of candy, for example, or they could contribute to the classroom pot for a pizza party." Some students have grasped this concept so well they have opened a free savings account at the local bank. Over the past year, about 50 of Blossoming's students ranging from age six to 18 have opened their own savings accounts.
Teaching finance to young students has allowed Blossoming to help close to the gap between knowledge and behavior. "We don't always practice what we know we should do," Blossoming says. "What you do changes your life. We must be creative and innovative to bring some excitement and energy to helping youth think for themselves and make decisions that will impact their behavior in the long-term." Her hope for her students is that they build a strong financial health so they can attend college, live where they want to live, save and manage their money wisely.
In her own life, Blossoming is a strong budget and spending plan manager. Whenever possible, she involves the youth in her family. "Currently our extended family is developing a generational financial plan," she says. What is her most important piece of advice? "If nothing else, be sure you have a spending plan in place, and consistently follow it."
Practical Money Skills would like to commend Blossoming Rose Mincey for her ongoing efforts and commitment to financial literacy at Broadview Elementary School and Redondo Elementary School in Florida.