Financial literacy education can make youth wealthy

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The fruits of the Spirit are known as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Six of those qualities distinctly describe Walter Fortson. In his quest to educate and work with young people his love, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control is often tested.

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YOUTH CAN BECOME MILLIONAIRES—Walter Fortson, author of Help Your Children Make Millions has a passion for youth. (Photo by Diane I. Daniels)

After working in the human resources field for the City of Pittsburgh for more than 30 years, Fortson has set his sights on preparing young people for their future. Aiming to work with youth ages 14 to 18 he says, “At that age the key is for them to form a financial, career and life plan and not to get into debt.” The author of two books, Fortson’s desire is to help children make millions and to live debt free.

Concerned that when children in the foster care system reach the age of 18 are released into society with only $200 and little or no training to survive, Fortson’s mandate is to do something to help them. His solution is to assist youth in being realistic by devising a budget that they can follow if they earn the minimum wage. His hopes are that, if they are aware that living on such a budget is too difficult, they will realize that more training and education is needed to increase their earning power. He also hopes to point out the significance of not getting into debt. “Minimum wage, draining interest rates and a lack of education, can be lethal to a young person’s future,” Fortson said.

In his book, “Help Your Children Make Millions—and Live Debt Free” Fortson outlines facts and ways for children to become wealthy by educating them at age 14 at the time they are eligible for the workforce. Chapters in the book include “On the Road to Financial Independence, Wealth, Golden Life = Bridge, Shield, Wall,” “Seeds, Growth, Harvest,” “The Great Parts of the Solution,” “It Takes Money to Make Money,” “You Are a Business (Except to the IRS),” “Lifetime Financial Plan,” “Pulling Together a Golden Strategy,” “Let’s Learn About the Money You Earn from a Job,” “Improve and Maintain Your Money Management Skills,” “Budgeting for New Entrants into the Economy,” “Documentation Guidelines, Jobs and Other Streams of Income,” and “Insurance and How to Set Up an IRA Account.”

Pleased with the results of his recent two part series of educational financial literacy classes for youth ages 12 to18 that took place at the Homewood-Brushton Community College of Allegheny County, Fortson said the students were engaged and excited. Titled, “The Money Game,” the classes are a way to spread the word about how youth can become millionaires.

With plans to conduct classes throughout the City, “We are looking for students to become a part of Walt’s vision—to help youth become millionaires and live debt free in this generation. The fun-filled sessions will be of great benefit to them as they learn financial principles which will empower them to achieve this goal,” explained Elnora Fortson. The husband wife team is looking for adults that share the vision and have a willingness to assist young people to become financially literate. They are also looking for organizations to host and sponsor the classes.

Passionate about youth, at age 69 Fortson said he did not receive a lot of guidance while growing up in New Kensington. “I don’t want kids to be like that now. They need to know that there are a lot of options out there and they need to make up their minds, make a plan, set goals and stick to it.”

The father of three adult females that reside in New York, he describes himself as a father, a Christian and husband of 38 years. He is a Penn State graduate and Army veteran. Tapping into his hobby of writing, he is penning his third book, “What Happens When You Become a New Christian.” His first book, geared toward young people, was “Resume Writing Without Paid Work Experience.” He identifies his life goals as teaching people about Christ and teaching youth about financial literacy. Other than being involved in his church he is president of the Penn Hills Toast Masters Chapter and sits on the board of the Eastside Neighborhood Employment Center.

Encouraging parents to teach their children the basics of money, Fortson says now is the time when they are young and have time on their side and while they are debt free. In his opinion it is the youth that will save America’s financial world.

“Help Your Children Make Millions (And Live Debt Free)” is available by calling 412-362-8218.

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