Financial Camp Educates Teens on Money and Business


The summer financial literacy program at Dehon Village is geared toward young teens, ages 12 to 16. Learning About Money and Business (LAMB) prepares the youth for the upcoming financial responsibilities in life. It is designed to encourage saving and responsible spending and borrowing.

Ten young people signed up for the twice-a-week class that ran through the month of July. They are not only getting banking and budget training, but also entrepreneurship education that will equip them to start a business and be opportunity-focused. Micro-enterprise Coordinator Eleanor Clayborn explains, “It is easy to plant the seed when they are young. This is more than financial literacy, it is early conditioning to be more responsible adults.”

During the five-week course, there was a field trip to a local bank, as well as guest speakers for various subjects. Housing Coordinator Cynthia Loyd-Johnson, who taught the class with Eleanor, said that the group would be learned to pay bills and balance a checkbook. The kids also managed the “Dehon Corner Store”, where they marketed and sold their own products. “The young people competed against each other for sales, and the net profit was be matched by Sacred Heart,” said Cynthia. “They sold a variety of items including pastries, candles, all kinds of things.”

Using the save-give-spend model, the “Dehon Dollars” earned during the store-front portion of the program were used to purchase educational, artistic, entrepreneurial and athletic items at the end of the camp. The Dehon Dollars portion of the financial camp is modeled after 4M (Money Making More Money), which originated at Sacred Heart Southern Missions in Tunica.

“We are kept the atmosphere light and fun,” said Eleanor, “but more encouraging, the kids took it serious.”

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