We worked with the Women’s Initiative of the United Way to enhance their online financial literacy program, Dollar $cholar. This program aims to help empower young women through financial education.
A lack of financial literacy training can lead to economic dependence. This financial literacy discrepancy is particularly prevalent amongst women, leading to an increase in abusive relationships due to economic dependency. The Dollar $cholar program curriculum was created to combat this effect by teaching financial literacy skills to middle school girls. We conducted research and developed recommendations for the Women’s Initiative on ways to refine and expand this course to be as effective as possible.
To fulfill this need for greater financial literacy, organizations such as The United Way of Central Massachusetts’ Women’s Initiative, created programs to financially empower young women. The Women’s Initiative is a not-for-profit organization established in 2002, that aims to positively impact girl’s lives through “philanthropy and women’s leadership”(United Way of Central Massachusetts | Women’s Initiative, n.d).
One approach the Women’s Initiative created to tackle the problems women face due to a lack of financial education is the Dollar $cholar program. The program teaches girls aged 10-14 about financial literacy and provides them with positive role models to reduce incidents of violence towards women. The Women’s Initiative has created an online platform for their Dollar $cholar program but this online version had to be created quickly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To stick with the accelerated timeline the Women’s Initiative has called upon us to ensure the content of the program not only still teaches the intended points, but also stays engaging in addition to creating a tool to track the impact of the program. The team has explored the different disciplines by combining analysis of existing literature along with interviews, focus groups, and surveys with individuals involved in middle school girls’ education to create a comprehensive understanding
This project aimed to create recommendations to make improvements to the virtual experience and increase the online Dollar Scholar program engagement. Our recommendations will help the Women’s Initiative goal of decreasing domestic violence among girls through financial literacy programs.
Goals and Objectives
In order for us to create a set of recommendations for The Women’s Initiative of the United Way we used the following objectives:
- Analyze Current State of Curriculum & Identify Areas for Improvement
- Identify and Examine Other Financial Literacy Programs
- Determine Best Practices
- Analyzed Gathered Information
- Recommend best data tracking tool
- Create recommendations