This past weekend, Trenton NAACP, Operation Rebuild Trenton and the African American Cultural Collaborative presented “Building Wealth in Our Communities Financial Literacy Workshop,” which provided education and resources on rebuilding wealth within the Trenton community.
Part of a 12-part series, the all-day event was held on Saturday, Nov. 6 at the New Jersey State Museum Auditorium. It included four panels and a networking lunch for participants to mix and mingle with professionals in Trenton.
Participants, as young as 14 years old, were able to speak with professionals about how to manage their bank accounts and create a good financial legacy. Professionals like Christopher Deleon, a financial advisor with Northwester. “Dels,” as he is known in the community, gave out free financial advice by sitting down with event-goers about their financial progress.
“That’s what today is all about…helping people manage their money, get a good idea of where we should be putting money. What [does] buying homes look like…What does starting a business look like,” Dels said.
One of the pieces of advice echoed throughout the day was creating and maintaining savings to cushion the blow during emergency situations. “ Know your budget, know how much you want to you have to spend on essential expenses, then try and keep that to 60% of your income max. Then that gives you the ability to have a life, what we call discretionary spending, and then also save money and investment. The lower your fixed expenses are your essential expenses. The more your capacity to be able to save,” Dels said.
Part of the experience was for students from the Trenton Public School District and Mercer County Community College to come out and learn about managing finances. Stacy Denton, The Director of Trio Upward Bound, explained that she partnered with the event to help her students see what they have been teaching throughout the summer.
“When the call came for this particular workshop, we wanted to partner because being in this space where students got an opportunity to see what we are, what we have been teaching them throughout the summer,” Denton said. “They get to hear from community partners on what they’re doing, how they could build on their credit, because these students are getting ready to go off to college.”
Overall Jasi Edwards, the CEO, and Co-Founder of Operation Rebuild Trenton, called the day a huge success. “We still are happy with the turnout, happy that everyone is getting the resources and tools that they need. We’re seeing a whole lot of signups for entrepreneurship mentorship programs, for all organizations. That, and people are really asking a lot of questions about credit building and home buying and business starting so that was exactly what we wanted to see,” Edwards said.
The next plan for the series will be on December 11th, downtown at Mercer County Community College’s James Kerny Campus. This workshop will be focused on entrepreneurship and business development.