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VIEWPOINT: Championing Financial Literacy: A Pathway to Empowerment for Delaware’s Youth

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As the Founder and CEO of YourMoney101, I have dedicated the last few years promoting financial wellness, particularly among those who may not have had access to traditional avenues of financial education. I have also seen firsthand the struggles that family members, employees, colleagues, and friends face when dealing with personal finances. The lack of financial literacy is a widespread issue that affects many individuals in our society. It’s time we address this problem at its root by educating our youth.

financial literacy education

Mark Olazagasti

In Delaware, we have an opportunity to make a significant change. House Bill 203, aptly named “The Equity and Inclusion in Financial Literacy for All High School Students in Delaware Act,” a landmark initiative introduced by state Rep. Jeff Hilovsky, R-Millsboro seeks to make a half-credit financial literacy course a requirement for all public high schools, beginning with students entering the 9th Grade in the 2025-2026 school year. It’s a cause close to my heart, and I’m grateful to be a part of this long overdue and much needed initiative.

But why is financial literacy education so crucial, not just for Delaware but for the entire nation?  According to the National Financial Educators Council (NFEC), young adults who receive education in financial literacy have better credit scores and lower debt delinquency rates as adults compared to those without such education. Yet currently only 25 states require high school students to take a course in personal finance (Council for Economic Education).  Unfortunately, Delaware is not among them.

The need for financial literacy education has never been more pressing. According to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), 66% of Americans are deemed financially illiterate, leading to real and damaging consequences such as struggling with unmanageable debt and making poor financial decisions. However, investing in financial education has a major impact, equipping students with the knowledge and skills needed for a more financially literate and resilient society.

That’s why House Bill 203 is so important. It calls for a paradigm shift in education policy, advocating for statewide mandates for a standalone, semester-long personal finance course. By ensuring that every student has access to high-quality financial education, we’re not just investing in their futures; we’re investing in the future prosperity of Delaware.

So, what can you do to help? Visit HouseBill203.org to learn more about the state of financial literacy in Delaware and how you can get involved.

Together, we can ensure that every student in Delaware has the tools they need to thrive in today’s world.

Mark Olazagasti is the Founder & CEO of YourMoney101 and retired managing partner at Info Solutions. YourMoney101 empowers small businesses with less than 250 employees through tailored financial wellness and mentoring programs. We educate employees and their families on the basics of personal finance thereby enabling them to take control of their own finances, helping them build a solid financial foundation, and providing them a pathway to reach their financial goals. Mark can be reached at molaz@ym101.org

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