Financial Backpack

“I find it very rewarding to increase a student’s confidence making wise financial decisions on practical issues such as how to finance college or living within a budget.”
— Mindy, FWA Member and Volunteer

Committee Chair

Lindsay Starr

Lindsay Starr

Are you aware that many high school students and young adults have never properly learned how to manage their personal and business finances?  Without learning these important skills, it is unlikely these individuals will thrive when entering the increasingly competitive job market. Luckily, the Financial Backpack program was created with the notion of educating individuals about important financial management tasks through seminars covering agendas such as:

  • Paying for college
  • Banking basics
  • Budgeting
  • When to use credit and debit cards
  • Saving and investing
  •  Understanding stocks, bonds and mutual funds

“The FWA Financial Backpack program offers volunteers a wealth of benefits: Share your ‘much appreciated’ financial skills and knowledge with high school students on ways to budget, save, invest and navigate the complexities of paying for college; improve your public speaking skills; engage with a talented group of FWA Members and NYC teachers; and have a great experience comingling with the ‘next generation’ of financial wizards! For bank employees, this is a great way to boast your CRA rating as well,” added FWA Member and Volunteer Pat.

The High School of Fashion Industries Mentor Workshop

The High School of Fashion Industries Mentor Workshop

This program was made possible through a $900,000 grant received from the HSBC foundation that was received in 2008 and was recently extended until 2015. Since its founding, around 2,300 students have successfully participated in Financial Backpack.

Partnerships include:

  • Virtual Enterprise International program: This program provides over 300 NYC high school students with instruction in banking, financial planning and investing through two sets of workshops held in both the fall and spring.
  • W!SE at the High School of Economics and Finance: FWA volunteers help teach the introduction program to the finance program.
  • Hunter College High School: This program has grown to include over 90 students annually now working alongside the Financial Backpack program.
  • The Young Women’s Leadership Network, The High School of Fashion Industries and Murry Bergtraum High School: All three offer evening workshops for seniors and their mentors that cover topics such as learning to properly budget and how to use credit wisely. The students work in small groups on a real-life case study.

“As the Program Director, I see the impact that the FWA Financial Backpack Program has on all participants. Our program is successful because of the amazing facilitators who bring their expertise and personal financial stories to life at the workshops. With our new curriculum using real-life case studies, high school students engage and interact with each other and the facilitators. Everyone leaves the workshop with new financial literacy skills and enriched by each other’s experiences,” Gigi Collins, program director commented.

financial backpack logoGet involved before it’s too late! Contact Chair Lindsay Starr now at