Jason Hartman is joined by Sharon Lechter, author, speaker, and education advocate, to talk about her recent trip to Ghana, financial issues facing young people today, and National Financial Literacy. Sharon shared some interesting facts about Ghana. It was recently highlighted by the World Bank as the fastest growing economy in the world. They are positioned to set a good example for other countries.
Sharon made the trip to Ghana to speak with the young people about her program, “Thrive Time Challenge,” and about global economic issues and how to be responsible stewards of money. The Challenge has been launched by Sharon and her organization, Pay Your Family First, along with Choices Educational Empowerment, a non-profit group. It is a statewide financial literacy program geared toward teens to teach good management skills of money and time, to realize everyone is an entrepreneur with the freedom to manage their own lives. Sharon speaks about creating a sustainable economy. It starts with educating the younger generation. She emphasizes that education should draw out the desire to learn and it should give them information and tools that they can apply to their own lives, to succeed, and to create value for themselves and everyone around them.
Jason and Sharon discuss the ballooning student loan situation in the U.S. and whether a college education is still as valuable as it once was. Sharon feels that it has to do with a standard, an expectation in our society, and students today can look at alternative ways of attending college to avoid the need for large student loans, such as scholarships or employers who assist with college expenses. The Thrive Time for Teens game deals with this issue, as well as educating youth about investing, real estate, and how to obtain good credit to open doors of opportunity.
A life-long education advocate, Sharon Lechter is the founder of Pay Your Family First, a financial education organization, and YOUTHpreneur, an innovative new way to spark the entrepreneurial spirit in our children. In 2009 Sharon was appointed to the National CPA Financial Literacy Commission as a national spokesperson on the topic of financial literacy. In 2008 Sharon was appointed to the first President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy. The Council served both President Bush and President Obama advising them on the need for financial literacy education.
Sharon is an entrepreneur, author, philanthropist, educator, international speaker, licensed CPA and mother. She has been a pioneer in developing new technologies, programs and products to bring education into children’s lives in ways that are innovative, challenging and fun, and remains committed to education – particularly financial literacy. In 1989 she joined forces with the inventor of the first electronic ‘talking book’ and helped him expand the electronic book industry to a multi-million dollar international market. Since 1992, she has dedicated her professional life and directed her entrepreneurial efforts in the creation and distribution of financial education books, games and other experiential learning products. In cooperation with the Women’s Presidents Organization, Sharon has held events across the country to teach young girls financial lessons through interactive games. In 2009 this event launched her new financial literacy board game THRIVE TIME for Teens, an innovative experiential and fun life and money reality game which has gained recognition with coveted awards including the GOLD Mom’s Choice Award, Creative Child Magazine’s 2010 Game of The Year, Dr. Toy’s Best Vacation Product and a five-star rating from WTS Toy Reviews. Recognized as an expert on the topics of financial education for children and entrepreneurship, Sharon has been featured in top national media outlets including CNN, Forbes.com, MSN Money and The Chicago Tribune. Sharon has authored Think and Grow Rich – Three Feet from Gold in cooperation with the Napoleon Hill Foundation and Greg Reid which was released in October 2009 and has ranked as a BusinessWeek and Wall Street Journal best-seller.
Sharon’s most recent book project is Outwitting the Devil by Napoleon Hill-a manuscript hidden for over 70 years updated by Lechter for the modern reader. Future projects with the Foundation include Think and Grow Rich titles for Women and Children.