Earlier this month I had the opportunity to take It’$ My Money international! I received an invitation from St. Jude’s School for Girls in Trinidad and Tobago to share It’$ My Money with 20 young ladies ages 17 and 18. St. Jude’s is a residential program that serves 50 local displaced girls. My goal for this trip was to enrich the lives of the students, allowing them to become financial scholars as they increase their application of financial tools through specific action steps. Over the course of 2 days I taught 4 workshops in which the girls received completion certificates and an autographed copy of my book.
Taniqua Hugley, a US Fulbright Researcher, played a major role in making this happen. She and I connected frequently for months going over plans, schedule, and the traits of the girls which helped me ensure the material was relevant and timely for those girls who would attend the sessions. Ultimately the trip was a huge success and the girls were so engaged. When our time together ended they gave me a thank you card and a Trini bag filled with local goods. The director of the program even requested that I come back next year. I’m thrilled to share this experience so keep reading to learn more about my trip!
Travel & Lodging
My intern accompanied me on the trip and this was her first time outside of the U.S. We had a direct flight from JFK airport to Trinidad on JetBlue airlines. Once we arrived in Trinidad we had the opportunity to stay on the UWI campus compliments of Trinity College. Maxi Taxi and H Taxis are common modes of transportation on the island. My intern and I had the most hospitable private transportation to and from airport and to the beach from Mr. (Uncle) Tony. He is a 13 year employee of Trinity College. We also truly enjoyed our hostess Ms. Hugley. This trip gave my intern an opportunity to have hands-on experience with an entrepreneur debuting her business and mission internationally. She helped prepare the materials and presentations for the girls and was the photographer.
Dining & Culture
I spent some time on the trip immersing in the Trinidadian culture. In Napa we had the awesome opportunity to sit in a Steel Pan Drum rehearsal with Akua Leith and the National Steel Symphony Orchestra which was very fun since the steel pan originated in Trinidad. We also visited the “Outlook” for a great view of Trinidad and Maracas Beach.
The meals in Trinidad were also memorable. We had dinner at Veni Mangi’ on The Ave, Bake and Shark from Richards at Maracas Beach which was my favorite meal, chicken roti, authentic Trinidadian Chinese, doubles and much more. Sorrel and Shandy were popular drinks on the island as well as coconut juice straight out of the coconut. Pepsi and KFC tasted very different than it does in the states. We drank lots of tea and bottled water. I must also mention that I am a huge basketball fan and the NBA Finals were taking place during my trip. Luckily, I was able to watch the 1st half of game 3 of the finals on “The Ave” on a large screen and comfy chairs with my Shandy (a soft drink made from a flower).
Budget & Sponsors:
The entire trip came in under budget by TT$262 ($37 US) - YES #practicewhatyoupreach
These young ladies would not have the opportunity to gain all the personal finance knowledge through the It’$ My Money workshops had it not been for the generous financial sponsorships from:
We THANK YOU!!! I want to also thank my supportive family, my mom, my husband and my daughter.
Y’all I can now add I am an International Speaker. I am still in awe and very humbled by my journey. I truly love that my works is helping many people, now all over the world.
Student loan debt is now the second highest consumer debt category according to Forbes. Right after a lofty mortgage many consumers are paying high interest rates on large student loans. Even students with well paying jobs complain of high student loan payments and not much way around it.
Who created ChangeEd?
Nick Sky and Dan Stelmach are brothers who made it their mission to attack student loan debt head on. They created ChangEd to help student loan borrowers manage their loans more effectively. According to their website, ChangEd makes paying off your student loans effortless by rounding up your everyday purchases to the next dollar and setting aside your spare change for principal payments. This simple change can save up to $10,00 in interest over time according to ChangEd creators Nick and Dan.
Many millennials find themselves staying at home longer or being forced to live with a roommate in order to make ends meet. The average undergraduate has $23,000 in student loans and the number is even higher for students who pursue masters, doctorates and more advanced degrees.
Nick and Dan, the creators of ChangEd understand these statistics all too well. Their own battle with student loan debt led to their research into the topic and ultimately the creation of the app.
How does it work?
ChangEd connects securely to your bank account. The technology will then determine your spending habits and transfer the change left over from your purchases to your FDIC insured ChangEd account. When the balance on that account equals $100, the app sends a payment to your loan provider automatically. It’s that simple! The app even allows to view your loan payment progress on your ChangEd dashboard.
For most people student loan debt is a part of life, but you don’t have to make it complicated. Visit gochanged.com to learn more about how you can use this tool to kickstart your loan payoff journey.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.