Financial Literacy for Youth (F.L.Y.) Conference 2011

I was at the FLY conference this last Saturday and I had such a great time I wanted to try and spread the word about the amazing work these kids are doing.  Yes that’s right, I’m showing my age here but this amazing organization and conference were put on by university students and recent graduates!

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FLY started as a student association out of U.B.C. and grew to include an annual conference, high school chapters and a engagement with the teaching community in Greater Vancouver.  Here’s a bit from FLY about themselves:

We realized that throughout our high school and university education, we were not taught the financial skills needed to prepare us for the “real world”. We did not want students after us to face the same challenges without being prepared. That is why we started Financial Literacy for Youth (FLY)

FLY started with just 5 members driven by a common concern. We started out researching what students were taught in high schools and why personal finance remains as one of the least taught subjects.

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And on to the conference! I had the priviledge of meeting two young ladies last December, Janice and Gabrielle.  Amongst a full-time university schedule, they were busy participating in this student association, working to put together the 2011 conference, and all the while doggedly chasing sponsors and exhibitors.  

Through our organization, The Chin-Wei Foundation, I was able to take part in the event and get a little behind-the-scene look into how FLY was able to engage and teach almost 300 high school students on a rainy Saturday afternoon.

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FLY ramped up this conference full of interactivity and games.  And we’re not talking the old fashioned teacher-led question & answer, role playing or quizzing.  Students were grouped into teams, icebreaker games followed and points for competition recorded throughout the day. Even the tradeshow was exciting with tasks for students to find answers from each of the exhibitors. They actually found a way to make learning fun and I witnessed it first hand, these students were running around looking for ways to ask more questions and find new answers.

At the end of the day I believe both the students and I came away having learnt something that we will benefit from in the years to come!

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