Summer is the season for leisure but for some local students, their vacation is at least partially about work.
This summer the City has hired Youthful Savings to educate local kids about running a business. Santa Monica resident, Somya Munjal created Youthful Savings as an education technology company meant to empower youth through financial education.
The company began four years ago in Washington D.C. and Munjal, Chief Youthful Servant, has brought the company to Santa Monica. She is determined to eliminate poverty by using education and technology, and felt it was best to work with the City.
“Santa Monica does a great job of reinvesting in their people. The City understands they are going to need successful people to have a successful city,” said Munjal.
Munjal has partnered with Virginia Park Teen Center to educate twelve students twice a week for two hours each.
“Typically, we partner with schools. This is the first time we are partnering with a City and it has been a great experience,” said Munjal.
Youthful Savings offers three different programs, My Own Business Challenge, Handle Your Business, and Financial Freedom.
The teens at Virginia Park are learning all about the My Own Business Challenge. The program is an eight-week course that teaches the next generation on how to create a business while also inspiring the spirit and motivation of saving money.
“They learn business skills and really how to survive in any economy,” said Munjal.
The program began on June 13 and since then the kids have created a business, from photography to social media ideas. Throughout the program they have established more in depth details about the business. Since then they continue to sell to each other, as it creates their own kind of economy.
On July 6, community members have the opportunity to get involved. Youthful Savings is hosting their Youth Business Showcase, allowing the public to be the customer and purchase their business ideas.
“The child that creates and delivers their business with the most effort and kindness and saves the most of their earning, will win $150 for their future,” said Munjl.
She explains kindness matters in the business program; because it is ideal they maintain a positive and caring personality.
“We hope to serve communities across America where the wealth gap is large. We strongly believe, business, if done right has the ability to transform the wealth gap,” said Munjal. “If we can teach kids this at a young age, then we can see poverty and the subsequent violence that occurs dissipate and that’s the kind of world we want to live in.”
As the program wraps up, she promised to take the students out surfing as a reward to their financial accomplishments.
Munjal is not slowing down when it comes to educating the public about the economy. She recently published a book, Audacious Endeavors: 8 Steps to Light Your Inner Fire and Change the World Through Socially Conscious Business.