In the Spring of 2017, Penn Capital sought to deepen their involvement in the Philadelphia community. Invest In Girls is always looking for ways to reach more girls as part of our mission. In an effort to further impact the lives of high school students and women, Penn Capital found a partner to support their work in us.
Together with Penn Capital, IIG launched the PRIME Program. The PRIME (Philadelphia Regional Investing Mentorship Experience) Program is dedicated to improving the economic mobility of children through education and mentorship while empowering the next generation of minority women investment professionals.
This new collaboration was a departure from the traditional IIG model. Unlike our other programs, the PRIME Program would use our curriculum but be taught entirely by outside volunteers and coordinated by Penn Capital. Invest In Girls would provide curriculum support and guidance on successfully launching the initiative.
Lindsay Heckman of Penn Capital, who coordinates the program in addition to her work as a Manager at the firm, explained why they choose to partner with us on this new venture. "Penn Capital's goals to improve gender and racial diversity in the financial industry matched really well with Invest In Girls’ mission. We felt the City of Philadelphia, and specifically, the public schools, could really benefit from a program like this. Their curriculum is strong, and they have had great success historically, and so we wanted to help spread their outstanding vision."
The Academy at Palumbo, one of the top 50 high schools in Pennsylvania, was selected as the site of our first PRIME Program class. Students were selected through an application process and for the last year they took part in financial literacy workshops lead by volunteers from diverse sectors of the finance & financial services industry. The Philadelphia community of professionals in these fields haave a passion for financial literacy education. Lindsay described it by saying; "The outpouring of both support and enthusiasm for our PRIME program has been astounding. We have had tremendous interest by clients, peers, and community activists in helping with the workshops and getting to know the participants. Everyone recognizes the importance of financial literacy, and our focus on a program specifically for young minority females has been very well received."
The students' workshops focused on the basics of personal finance. The Director of Programs at the Academy of Palumbo, Khadiyah Bunion, thought the program was really impacting the students. She said; "Having the tools to learn how to manage your credit and how important credit is for your future has been very interesting to watch the girls learn and that's just to name one of the things that the young ladies have been exposed to in class."
We are proud to say that the first year of this partnership has been a great success. Thursday, May 24th was the culmination ceremony for our first class of the PRIME Program. Students took part in a workshop about credit and credit cards followed by a Workplace Visit at the offices of Penn Capital where they met with the women working at the firm.
One of the student participants wants to enter the world of finance after college and has loved her experience in the program so far. The PRIME Program will be returning in the Fall to the Academy at Palumbo where students will be learning about investing.