‘Making Financial Literacy Cool’

Mohammed Faisal (right), founder of The Money Hub, and Joshua Varghese, the organization’s chief technology officer. (Photo via Forest Hills Times)

How do you make financial literacy cool to students from immigrant and low-income families?

Develop whiteboard animated videos, mobile apps and other tools that explain the basics of personal finance, then market your program to community organizations and high schools. That’s what Mohammed Faisal, born in Queens of Bangladeshi parents, has done with his startup company, The Money Hub, reports Benjamin Fang in Forest Hills Times. Growing up in Astoria, Faisal watched as his father went into debt and his mother saved up for the family to purchase a home. The lessons stayed with him as he attended City College of New York.

Faisal envisioned an organization that uses technology to teach financial literacy in a fun, interactive way. But he started small, with pens, paper and a PowerPoint presentation about personal finance, savings, budgeting and credit scores.

He tested his workshop model earlier that spring at the Harlem-based organization Brotherhood/Sister Sol, not too far from his alma mater. He credited the group for believing in his vision and giving him a shot to speak to their kids.

“After graduating, it felt like it was my life calling. I need to do this, and I put everything on hold to do it,” Faisal said, referencing other possible careers in finance, banking or consulting. “When it’s something bigger than you, you’ve got to do whatever you can.”

Joshua Varghese joined the team late in 2017.

He spearheaded the creation of the app, which started out as just a multiple-choice game. Varghese said the idea was the kids could pull out their phones on the train to play the game while absorbing the concepts.

Go to Forest Hills Times to read what Faisal calls one of the “best compliments” he ever received from a high school friend about his venture, and to learn more details about how Faisal and his team are marketing The Money Hub.

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