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Creating Entrepreneurs of Learning

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Illustration of woman herding fish

Fish Herder no. 2 by Susan Sorrell Hill

Sometimes what helps kids most is a goal and a paycheck.

“I like coming to school now… I feel happy about it… I have a personal finance class. I have my own bank account now. I just feel like half of these kids don’t have that opportunity. I feel special. I feel great. Every time I go to that class I am just, like, so happy I just think about my future 24/7.” Nicki is describing the effect of a radical reinterpretation of a classroom to a university researcher. No one in her family went to college, and she goes to school in one of the most violent zip codes in one of the most underfunded school districts in the nation. What changed her opinion of school is that Nicki earned a spot in the first year of the Leadership, Identity, and Finance Training (LIFT) Fellowship, a program that capitalizes on the awakening of teenagers to find a unique niche in this world. For an hour during the school day, LIFT Fellows receive:  A real problem to solveCoaching around leadership responsibilitiesInstruction in personal financePaychecks into real bank accounts  The goal is to create motivated, happy, and eager learners by creating an environment si …

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