Jacqueline Molik Ghosen
Buffalo, N.Y. -- The University at Buffalo School of Management has introduced the MoneySKILL® financial literacy program to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Erie County.
A group of more than 25 mentors from Big Brothers Big Sisters was trained on Oct. 16 to use the Internet-based program to assist their Little Brothers and Sisters in developing personal finance skills.
MoneySKILL is a free, interactive Internet curriculum designed to educate students to make informed financial decisions on a variety of personal finance issues, including income, money management, spending, credit, saving and investing.
The program was developed by Lewis Mandell, professor emeritus of finance and managerial economics in the UB School of Management, in collaboration with the American Financial Services Association Education Foundation.
For the past three years, the UB School of Management and M&T Bank have partnered to help bring MoneySKILL to Western New York high schools. Both organizations have provided staff and volunteer support, and the M&T Charitable Foundation has funded the initiative.
Now, as part of a special outreach initiative, the School of Management has offered the program to Big Brothers Big Sisters.
“It just seemed like a natural extension of what we’ve been doing with area high schools,” said Cynthia Shore, assistant dean of corporate and community relations for the UB School of Management. “We have an opportunity to help at-risk youth with a program that can significantly impact their futures.”
Big Brothers and Big Sisters meet with their Little Brothers and Sisters two or three times a month to share a friendship that provides a variety of activities focused on the interests and needs of the child. MoneySKILL will be an additional activity that they can work on together.
“Our Big Brothers and Sisters informally teach their Little Brothers and Sisters financial skills in the course of the everyday activities they share together,” said Robert Moss, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Erie County. “We are delighted that we can now provide our mentors with a well-structured, yet fun and interactive resource to teach these skills.”
The initial group of mentors received an overview and registered for MoneySKILL at a two-hour training session provided by the UB School of Management and M&T Bank. UB also will provide Big Brothers Big Sisters with continued support after the training, making the program easy for the mentors to use.
“With such a terrific initial response from our Big Brothers and Big Sisters for the training, we look forward to watching participation in this program grow,” said Moss. “Our hope is that those mentors who begin using MoneySKILL with their Little Brothers and Sisters will share the value of this resource with other mentors in the program.”
Founded in 1971, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Erie County is an affiliate of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, the largest youth mentoring organization in the United States. Independent research shows that its model of professionally supported one-to-one relationships between young people and their Big Brothers and Big Sisters has a measurable, positive impact. In 2007, BBBS of Erie County serviced more than 600 youth through community-based, site-based and group mentoring programs.
The Wall Street Journal has ranked the UB School of Management No. 9 in the nation among schools with strong regional recruiting bases. In addition, BusinessWeek has ranked the school as one of the country's top 5 business schools for the fastest return on MBA investment, and Forbes cited it as one of the best business schools in the U.S. for the return on investment it provides MBA graduates. For more information about the UB School of Management, visit mgt.buffalo.edu.
M&T Bank, a subsidiary of M&T Bank Corporation (NYSE:MTB), was established in 1856 and is among the 20 largest commercial banks headquartered in the United States, with more than $66 billion in assets and more than 13,500 employees. M&T operates more than 680 full-service branches and a network of more than 1,600 ATMs in New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Washington, D.C., West Virginia and Delaware.