Teens, College Students Young Adults Talk Money and Financial Literacy, Panel 4

We are pleased to share Sammy Rabbit’s Teen, College and Young Adult Financial Literacy Discussion Panel 4.

The Discussion Panel provides young people from ages 13 to 30 a platform to talk money, personal finance and financial literacy education.

This month’s Panel features the thinking of:

(1) Markose Chenthitta, MBA and Founder of FINfluential, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

(2) Sheila Mmboga Afanda, Founder of the Financial Wellness, Centre, United Arab Emirates

(3) Kriti Gupta, MBA and Chartered Accountant, India

(4) Danijel Velicki, CEO & Founder, Sqwire, Chesapeake, Virginia

(5) Cameron Rufus, Student, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio

(6) Hailee MacDonald, Intern, Invite Education, Boston, Massachusetts

(7) Diana Frick, Financial Coach, Houston, Texas

QUESTIONS FOR PANEL 4 
Q1. What’s your big dream and why is it important to you?

Q2. Following are two reasons why Sammy Rabbit thinks big dreams are important for kids and everyone. Why do you think it is important to have dreams, including big dreams? Share one idea on how you think big dreams can be used to help teach kids and young people about money (and to develop great money habits)?

…One: Dreams give us purpose. Having purpose and something to aim at give us meaning. Dreams can be and often are the “why” that informs, motivates and shapes behavior toward a specific “end result.” 

…Two: Big dreams challenge us to stretch ourselves and help us discover who we are and what we are capable of accomplishing.   

Q3. What is your favorite quote on money and why? 

Here is what the Panel shared!

Markose Chenthitta

Markose Chenthitta was born and raised in Dubai, UAE and graduated from Wayland Baptist University in Plainview, Texas. He currently works with American Express as a Product Consultant while simultaneously pursuing his passions and desire to expand his human capital by advancing his digital marketing skills.  

Once Markose jumped into the rabbit hole of money, Austrian economics, blockchain, cryptos etc., he decided to share his ideas, knowledge, and expertise through a financial education podcast he has founded and hosts weekly called FINfluential! His goal is to champion the causes of increasing your financial confidence, raising your human capital, and bringing economic freedom to the whole world.

Q1. What’s Your Big Dream And Why Is It Important To You? 

My big dream is twofold with the purpose of increasing the financial confidence, raising human capital and bringing more economic & financial freedom to the whole world.

I want to establish a “FINfluential” Embassy and a “Blockchain” Embassy in my home city of Dubai, UAE. I then want to expand my dream into other financial centers around the world. I would like for each Embassy to be a global strategic hub for entrepreneurs, investors, developers and financial evangelists. They will be places to learn and network on the topics of financial literacy, economics, blockchain, cryptocurrencies and digital assets.

(1) FINfluential Embassy – The goal of this center is to educate and influence the masses on the importance of financial education, financial literacy and to inspire tomorrows leaders with sound economic principles and the entrepreneurial spirit. 

(2)  Blockchain Embassy – The mission of this center is to educate and enlighten everyone on blockchain, cryptocurrencies, digital assets, etc. This center is to foster the growth of a sustainable decentralized ecosystem and provide a network of resources to facilitate the success of the mission and vision. 

Q2. Why do you think it is important to have dreams, including big dreams? Share one idea on how you think big dreams can be used to help teach kids and young people about money (and to develop great money habits)?

Having dreams, especially “Big Dreams” provide us higher levels of excitement, anticipation and focus.  

Dreams are essential for everyone to have. They help us keep focused on our goals in our personal and professional lives.

The big dreams I have in my life have helped me overcome my limiting beliefs and create new beliefs that help bring me closer to my life goals and improve the quality of my life. 

Q3. What is your favorite quote on money and why?  

“Your true wealth is your time and freedom. Money is just a tool in trading your time. It’s a container to store your economic energy until you are ready to deploy it.” 

This quote is by Mike Maloney. It is a reminder to me on why I started my podcast FINfluential, spreading the message of increasing your financial confidence, raising your human capital and bringing economic freedom to the whole world through financial literacy and education.

I want to inspire the leaders of tomorrow through the spirit of entrepreneurship, sound money management, and free market economic principles. 

We are seeing people trade their time for money, live paycheck to paycheck, not have an emergency fund or investment plan for their future. This is not sustainable for the long term. Folks need to be educated and encouraged to take positive actions in their lives.

It’s important to receive financial education and learn new skills that are valuable in the marketplace; to be capable of creating more Income; to be able to save and invest our hard earned money and turn it into assets that will produce more cashflow and raise our net worth.

IF we are able to do that we will be in a better position to have the time and freedom to pursue our passions, desires, and life purpose. There are those of us who have incredible life missions and visions to change our world for the better. 

Sheila Mmboga Afande

Sheila is a Financial Literacy Advocate, Consultant and the Founder of the Financial Wellness Centre in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

The Financial Wellness Centre is an organization that is focused on creating financial awareness both at personal and organizational level.

Q1. What’s Your Big Dream And Why Is It Important To You?

My biggest dream is to start a Financial Wellness institution from kindergarten to the University level. It will teach students aside and in addition to the normal curriculum:

1. Financial Education 

2. Interpersonal skills that include integrity, honesty and emotional intelligence 

3. Entrepreneurship and Business Management 

4. Spirituality, including the importance of giving back to the community and how to do it, as well as other charitable services.

5. Relationship building and networking. 

Actualizing this dream will not only help solve the current socio economic problems we are facing, but it will also help transform a generation as the graduates leaving the institution will be more equipped to face real life situations. 

May God help me to make this dream come true!

Q2. Why do you think it is important to have dreams, including big dreams? Share one idea on how you think big dreams can be used to help teach kids and young people about money (and to develop great money habits)?

I totally agree with Sammy Rabbit’s reasons. To add on to those, I would say having a dream (including big dreams) allows you to have a vision of how you want your future to look. You get a mental picture of your destiny. Having this picture serves as a roadmap for your life’s journey. You basically know where you are going and where you want to be after a certain period of time.

A dream also helps you identify what tools, networks and resources you need to achieve your dream and destiny. Thus, you are able to minimize wasting time doing things that won’t lead you to achieving your dream.

I think we can use big dreams to challenge the mindsets of kids and young people. By encouraging kids and young people to think about their big dreams, write it them on paper and share them, it will stretch their minds to think outside the box. It give them an opportunity to explore their future in the present and begin to think long term. This will lead to kids and young people being more motivated to become better and work smarter. I always say, it’s the “mindset” before the assets.

Having a big dream can also be helpful in creating an abundance mindset in kids and young people.

Q3. What is your favorite quote on money and why?

“Money is a tool that can help or hurt you.”

It’s a reminder to me that how I handle money will definitely have consequences to me, either positive or negative.

Kriti Gupta

Kriti Gupta has a dual MBA in Corporate Finance and Investments from the University of Notre Dame. During her MBA she was one of the few people selected from her MBA class to meet Warren Buffet in Omaha and tour three of his businesses. 

Kriti is also a Chartered Accountant with experience in financial modeling, forecasting, risk consulting, forensic accounting and fraud detection, fund management, project financing, underwriting, asset management, fundraising, and asset development. Currently, she is managing S H S P & Associates, a financial and strategy consulting business.

She has written case studies to be used for academic purposes and writes a personal blog. Her short stories were recently published by a Canadian publishing house in the form of a book. 

Q1. What’s Your Big Dream And Why Is It Important To You?

When I was in my teens, my big dream was to become a Chartered Accountant and start my own business. After becoming a Chartered Accountant and starting my business, I started feeling lost after two years. I was successful in the traditional sense, but I had reached a stage where I was no longer growing. It was at that moment when I realized that my big dream has evolved. My big dream is to keep learning and growing. I decided to pursue an MBA from the University of Notre Dame. I gained a wide array of experiences during my MBA. Post-MBA, I started working with Startups, and the things I have learned are mind-boggling. Learning and growing motivate and nourishes me. Although I still have my little dreams like buying a house, able to afford a trip to see the penguins, and to have a financial buffer if I want to take a 1-2-year vacation, these dreams are small milestones to help achieve my Big Dream.

Q2. Why do you think it is important to have dreams, including big dreams? Share one idea on how you think big dreams can be used to help teach kids and young people about money (and to develop great money habits)?

Dreams help us visualize what we want to do with our lives and create a game plan accordingly. A big dream might seem farfetched and require a lot of hard work and time. These dreams act as milestones to help us keep motivated through small wins and reshape our Big Dream as per our ever-evolving mindset.

My emphasis is on curbing unnecessary expenditures. This idea encompasses teaching ourselves about the difference between need and want. For example, someone’s big dream is to own a summer house in the mountains. The way to go about is to break down the expected cost and the funds required. The next step would be to create smaller achievable monetary milestones. These milestones would help the person to understand the propensity of efforts they need to put into working towards saving money by figuring out expenses they can cut down. 

Q3. What is your favorite quote on money and why?

“Only buy something that you’d be perfectly happy to hold if the market shuts down for ten years.”  -Warren Buffett

I love this quote because it resonates with my mantra of avoiding wasteful expenses. 

Danijel Velicki

Financial educator, CEO and founder of Sqwire, LLC, Danijel Velicki, is fiercely committed to equipping and empowering every single person he encounters with the information and resources to confidently thrive across all facets of life.  

Danijel is a devoted family man who spends his free time with his wife, Melissa, and their three children, Maja, and twins, Ella and Noah. When not spending time with family on their summer vacations to his childhood home in Croatia, they can all be found at his local gym, Crossfit Chesapeake, encouraging individuals and families to pursue physical health and wellness.

Q1. What’s Your Big Dream And Why Is It Important To You?

My big dream is to make financial education easily accessible and understandable for everyone. I had a friend and business owner pass away and at the time of his death, he had no real plan in place to financially protect his family in the event of an emergency. I felt like I had let him down. No longer could I let people I know and love live life just getting by, at a disadvantage, simply because they didn’t know what they didn’t know. The lack of trustworthy financial information available online is a secondary failure to our society’s complete avoidance when it comes to basic financial education in our school systems.

It’s important to me because I’ve sat across people from all walks of life and education and income levels who have been hurt by this lack of knowledge It’s time to make sure that people are given the proper tools they need to succeed in life.

Q2. Why do you think it is important to have dreams, including big dreams? Share one idea on how you think big dreams can be used to help teach kids and young people about money (and to develop great money habits)?

Dreams are important because they help guide us and give people direction when it comes to daily life. If you know what your dreams are you can set your goals and begin down the path to achieving them.

Big dreams force us outside our comfort zone. They make you better every single day. 

Big dreams, like money take work and learning. As you chase your dreams you develop the habits that lead to success and help you continually build towards those goals. This can help teach and lead about money because like chasing dreams, you need to develop the discipline and dedication to learning and following the right steps and habits to be financially successful and well.

Q3. What is your favorite quote on money and why?

While it doesn’t directly relate to money one quote I love and I had in my wallet when I came to the U.S. from Croatia at 18 was:

“He who would learn to fly one day must first learn to stand and walk and run and climb and dance; one cannot fly into flying.”

It is from Friedrich Nietzsche. This ties directly into money because, like referenced earlier the habits and consistency developed as you chase your goals and financial dreams, have to start with small steps. You’re not going to wake up one morning and see your financial goals achieved without starting small first.

Cameron Rufus

Cameron is going into his senior year at Bowling Green State University where he is majoring in Finance, Insurance and Risk Management. He was the President, and previously Treasurer, of the university’s Financial Management Society and a member of its Financial Investing Club. Cameron’s mission is to positively impact the lives of all the people he meets, whether that’s through a service or friendship. He is a big advocate for teaching the youth financial literacy and education.

Q1. What’s Your Big Dream And Why Is It Important To You?

My big dream is create a business that supports adults, teenagers, and young children in understanding how not only money works, but how to efficiently use any highly demanded and scarce resource. The business will also offer financial assistance to college students to continue their education and chase their big dreams. This dream is so important to me because I feel that our current world has become so focused on just one resource, money and how to get a lot, very quickly, and not how to focus this in areas that could help sustain the world we live from huge forces like global warming, greenhouse gas effects, and food and water scarcity.

Q2. Why do you think it is important to have dreams, including big dreams? Share one idea on how you think big dreams can be used to help teach kids and young people about money (and to develop great money habits)?

It is so important to have big dreams, small dreams and everything in between because these dreams heavily contribute to who we will become in the future. Dreams drive us to do things that many others may not have the courage or drive to do. It is also important to understand that dreams do not work unless you put forth a plan to turn these dreams into reality.

For the big picture, dreams help kids and young people understand how to put their money to work, using things like compound interest, savings vehicles, and investment strategies. On the surface level, these same dreams kids and young people and how to save, sacrifice, and understand opportunity costs. By continuing to fund your dreams and goals you will subconsciously develop money habits to that can be used for anything.  

Q3. What is your favorite quote on money and why?

“Time is money.”

I believe this is so true because everyone is searching for ‘financial freedom.’ Meaning they are looking to be fortunate enough to not worry about money and have the money to do the things that would normally be constrained by time (aka being at work). Many people can’t do this because they work their whole life for money, spend it, run out of money, and work for more.

I keep this quote in mind because my financial goals are designed around owning assets that create enough cash flow to cover my expenses and allow me to work at my own pace but have a consistent income. I plan to have enough money to travel for work and my own personal gain anytime I want, without giving up my time for money.

(NOTE: Cameron responded to this specific question as a part of our Panel 3 discussion).

Haillee MacDonald

Hailee is a Marketing Intern at Invite Education and a graduate of the Sawyer Business School at Suffolk University.

Q1. What’s Your Big Dream And Why Is It Important To You?

My big dream is for financial education to be easily accessible throughout our communities and integrated into the K-12 curriculum. Personal finance impacts our lives in every aspect, whether starting a first job, taking out a student loan, or saving for a home, there is a need for financial balance.  When persons are educated on the choices available to them, they are able to direct decisions to their benefit. 

Although financial situations differ on an individual basis- knowledge is power. Financial education teaches fundamental strategies which can be used to our advantage at any point in time. It is never too early to start learning core money concepts.

Q2. Why do you think it is important to have dreams, including big dreams? Share one idea on how you think big dreams can be used to help teach kids and young people about money (and to develop great money habits)?

It’s important to continuously dream big, especially on the topics we are passionate about. Dreams allow us to look at our present state and strive for something greater. Once we take the first step to turn our dreams into reality, we embark on a journey of self discovery. It is important to dream big and work towards goals one step at a time. 

Success by determination!

Big dreams allow kids and young people to reach for something greater- achieving these dreams requires determination and most likely funding. When young people are put in the position to fund or help fund their dreams, they are faced with the challenge of balancing their wants and needs. Dreams allow us to focus on our wants and needs simultaneously, once we are empowered with motivation to achieve a specific goal we are driven to turn our wants into something tangible while also taking care of our needs.

Q3. What is your favorite quote on money and why?

My favorite money quote is,

“Saving a Dollar Today is Better than Borrowing one Tomorrow”.

As a student working in the college finance industry I’ve personally seen the power of compound interest both in terms of saving and borrowing. I personally take the quote into consideration when making daily financial decisions; even the smallest amount of money saved today can make a big difference towards fulfilling future dreams.

Diana Frick

Diana is a financial coach and owner of Wealth Worthy LIfe. She is a first-generation immigrant. Her parents brought her to the United States from Peru when she was 1 year old. Like many immigrants, they came in search of the American dream. They arrived with little money but lots of hope for their family. What Diana admires so much about her parents was the hard work and sacrifices they made to have a better life. She believes people have the capability to live their version of a wealthy life and it all starts in our day to day finances.

Q1. What’s Your Big Dream And Why Is It Important To You?

That my work as a financial coach reaches so many people and changes their life for the better.

It’s so important to me because I’m already getting to live my best life now. Having a wonderful family and being able to have amazing experiences with them is all I’ve ever wanted out of life and want to be able to give this kind of experience to more people.

Q2. Why do you think it is important to have dreams, including big dreams? Share one idea on how you think big dreams can be used to help teach kids and young people about money (and to develop great money habits)?

It challenges our minds. When it comes to big dreams there is more than one way to actually achieve it. Our mind goes to work on figuring out what works and what doesn’t work and along that journey is that growth that makes us a better person.

I think that when you have a big dream you go to work in figuring out all the different steps and milestones that you need to reach that big dream. What you are doing here is planning ahead which is a vital skill when it comes to building good money habits.

Q3. What is your favorite quote on money and why?

You miss 100% of the shots you never take.” -Michael Jordan 

We are all given this one life..this one shot to make the most of it.  When you truly realize how you have this one chance you do all what is possible to focus on what is truly important. All the things you think are obstacles are nothing compared to the big dream you’re after. You persevere and keep at it even when things are tough because you fail ahead of time when you don’t even try. This is the kind of drive and perspective that separates those people who are successful with money and those who aren’t.

TEENS, COLLEGE STUDENTS AND YOUNG ADULTS – SUPPORT SAMMY AND HIS MISSION. HERE ARE A FEW WAYS TO DO IT!

One

Join the discussion. Become a Panel Member. Contribute to addressing a global challenge – financial illiteracy!

View list of all the young leaders who have participated as Panel Members.

View all Panel Discussions!

Two

Lead a Sammy Dream Big Financial Literacy Education Experience in your community, just like students from Loras College did in Dubuque, Iowa.

Three

Be a Sammy Teen, College Student and/or Young Adult Guest Blogger!

Four

Be a Sammy Rabbit Dream Big Social Media Ambassador

Contact Sammy today to learn more about his strategic approach to early age, youth and family financial literacy education and how you can have more impact!

CLICK to use our website contact form or email us at: contact@SammyRabbit.com


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About the Author

Sam X Renick is a children's Author, Co-Creator of Sammy Rabbit-SammyRabbit.com, Award Winning Financial Educator & Double Bottom Line Entrepreneur!