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Fawnee Evnochides

A San Francisco-based nonprofit organization called Juma Ventures is
teaching low-income teenagers how to prepare for their financial futures.
Juma is helping youth hone their employment skills and earn some cash with
work at big league ballparks—but beyond just jobs in food concessions, the
program also teaches them how to be financially literate—through
workshops that show them how to save money, spend responsibly and build
their assets. Fawnee Evnochides reports on a local group that’s helping kids
get into the game.

Scene 1: Ballpark
Ballpark ambi: sound of teenager working concessions at SBC

FE 1: Next time you’re at AT&T Park, if you happen to buy a Ben and
Jerry’s ice cream or a Tully’s coffee, take a look at your vendor. It’s a young
person working with Juma Ventures—a group that employs low- income
youth to improve their chances for a prosperous future. On the face of it, a
job in food concessions might not seem like a big step toward financial
success. But 17-year-old Juma employee Cheryl Pasqual says that in her first
year, she’s already learned some work skills: how to handle money, how to
deal with the pressure of long lines and impatient customers…and now she’s
already moving up in the ranks.

CP 01
I started out as scooper. And now I’m training to be a team leader…
It’s things like taking inventory, being in charge at the register, I’m the
person who greets the customers instead of scooping the ice cream or
making the coffee.

FE 2: As a team leader, Cheryl will earn 9.32 an hour. And while that wage
doesn’t go far in the pricy bay area--she’s getting something that could
prove a lot more valuable from Juma Ventures: an education in financial
literacy; and the chance to invest in an Individual Development Account, or
IDA. That’s a matched savings account, meant to encourage low-income
Americans to save for the future. For every $50 Cheryl saves, Juma
Ventures matches her savings two to one. So that original $50 becomes a

total of $150 she can use for college, starting a small business, or buying her
first home.

CP 02
(laughs) So I guess its really working out for me, I’m going to go check my
balance after this. (laughs)…they triple it. So I’ve probably saved at least
a thousand so far. But there will be more, There will be more.

Jim Schorr is the Executive Director of Juma Ventures.

JS 1
It provides a safety net that otherwise doesn’t exist for these youth and
gives them some asset base to begin to invest in their futures, whether its
college tuition expenses or some other kind of asset purchase. (((But
its—))) having a little bit of money in the bank changes everything.

FE 3: Juma Ventures started as an employment program for
homeless youth in 1993, at San Francisco’s Larkin Street Youth
Services. The next year, Juma, which means “work” in Swahili,
became a separate nonprofit organization geared toward a wider
variety of youth from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.
About 50% of Juma’s funding comes from their franchise
business operations and about half comes from foundations,
corporations and local government as well as some individual
donor support. And it’s proven very successful-- Juma is now
the largest youth IDA program in the country. In addition to
helping youth build their savings through the IDA program,
Schorr says that Juma’s financial education workshops teaches
them to be lifelong savers...

JS 2
Where they are literally developing habits that will serve them well for
the rest of their lives, goal setting habits and monthly savings habits and
saving a little bit of money from every paycheck towards whatever their
savings goal is. It’s a very powerful thing. :39

      AMBI Financial Literacy Workshop – STUDENTS CHATTING

FE 4: 22-year-old Gabe Mello was once a Juma participant. Now, as Asset
Services Coordinator, he leads a money skills workshop at Juma Ventures in
downtown San Francisco.

GM 1
We work with youth around kind of examining some of their habits
with money, and (((how their emotions play a role in the decisions they
make, with what they do with their finances and))) then we also talk to
youth frankly about what their priorities are and making sure that their
day to day actions are in line with what their priorities are. And we use
those discussions to help the youth make a budget for themselves so they
can take a realistic look at what sources of income they have and what
decisions they’re making on where to spend that money.

FE 04a      Today, Melo is teaching 6 teenagers how to create a budget.

Mello teaching WORKSHOP
―… I want you guys to think of one thing that you feel like is your
priority: so if your priority is buying a car, you’re going to write that on
the side of your paper. If your priority is saving for college, you’re going
to write that. (student asks, ―can we have this every month?‖ Yeah, you
can have this every month, but whatever your priority is---you can pick
between one and three things that you want to be a priority. But
whatever things that you feel are really important to you, write that on
the side of your paper right here, before you start your budget…‖


FE 5: 90% of Juma’s participants are youth of color, and all of
them come from the Bay Area’s lowest-income neighborhoods,
like Bayview/Hunter’s Point, Visitacion Valley, and East Oakland.
That lower income status qualifies them for IDA accounts. And
as they learn how to track expenses and save money each
month for their IDAs, Juma youth also learn about credit, how to
choose the right bank account, balance a checkbook, and tell the
difference between good debt and bad debt. In the second year
of the program, they even explore investing.


STUDENT01         Workshop ambi 02 ―I spend so much money on
clothes‖ fade under…

STUDENT02          Workshop ambi 03 40 :35
Okay, there’s this thing called tapioca drinks, its really addicting.
They’re like 3 dollars a cup and I used to buy them like every day. But
know that I realize that I have to save for college, I stopped, well I
didn’t stop buying them, but I made a realistic goal. I cut it down to like
once a week. And yeah, I save a lot, yeah.

STUDENT03         Workshop ambi 04
I always used to buy clothes, and I still kind of do, But now I have like
200 dollars saved up because I haven’t been shopping.

FE 6: 18-year-old Orlando Campbell, who will be attending San Francisco
State next year—has set a goal of saving $100 a month—but he’s managed
to find a way to save his entire paycheck from his job at the ballpark. Mello
asks him about his savings strategy.

Ambi 05
Gabe: when you get your paycheck, do you buy everything you need
first and then you have that $100 left over?

Orlando: I usually save my whole paycheck because I have direct

Gabe: How does direct deposit help you out in saving?

Orlando: Because you don’t have the money in your hand to spend. So
you just don’t spend it.

Gabe : So that’s like another strategy. Some people talk about the
budget, like if they write it down, its easier to stick to it.‖(fade under my
narration) :30

FE 7: That kind of strategy helped Juma alumni Jennifer Ruiz
save enough in her IDA to pay for books, tuition and a new

computer for her first year at San Francisco State. She’s the first
in her family to go to college.

Jennifer Ruiz 1
And basically, that makes me feel proud of myself because
my parents came here (((for them to have a better life and)))
for their children to have a better life and to get educated
and be successful in their lives and (((basically that’s very
important to me because I am the first to go and))) I do want
to make them feel proud of me and make them realize that I
did pay attention all those times they lectured me about
going to school. (((So its important to me going to college
and being successful.))) ONE WAY OR ANOTHER WE’LL

FE 8: Juma Ventures boasts an impressive success rate: about 85% of the
300 youth involved in the program each year in San Francisco enroll in
college or find living wage employment. And now there are more
opportunities for young adults in the East Bay --since Juma has expanded its
concessions enterprise to the Oakland Coliseum. The program hopes to bring
its “Field of Dreams” initiative to stadiums throughout the country.

For KALW news, I’m Fawnee Evnochides.
For Up Front, I’m Fawnee Evnochides.
I’m Fawnee Evnochides in San Francisco

Gabe Mello, Asset Services Coordinator,Juma Ventures: 415-371-0727 x209
Jim Schorr, Executive Director Juma Ventures: 415.371.0727 x220
Jennifer Ruiz, Juma alumni and SFSU student: 415.424.8271

Jim Schorr
And so we have developed a partnership that has enabled us get into
the Oakland Coliseum this year where we’re replicating our concession
venture and so ben and jerry’s and Tullys coffee venture from San
Francisco into the Oakland coliseum this year, creating a number of job
opportunities for Oakland youth and pending our success in Oakland,

we have the desire and the opportunity to expand much more broadly
outside of the bay area as well.

Cheryl 42/:57
Actually when I first joined Juma I was thinking yeah, I’m going to
work at the ballpark…and when I actually learned about this group I
heard about the IDA account and the workshops with the money skills,
the career building, education and health... Just having the job was a
bonus, because everything behind it is like the actual point of being

Gabe Mello/37 1:01
the point that were trying to make is that youre going ahead youre setting
priorities about what youre wanting to do and then youre writing down
your budget of what youre actually doing on a day to day basis.

Gabe Track 6/ 2:04 as they make the transition from being a teenager to
being an adult, how their financial responsibilities change and how their
own actions need to change in response to those new responsibilities and
those new pressures. We look at beginning to invest, so making their
money work for them and how they can grow their own savings so that as
they’re accumulating savings its also doing its part to multiply on its own,
we look at taxes…making sure that they file for their refunds and stuff like
that. And then we also look into strategies around financing larger
purchases, that they’re not going to be able to pay cash for, such as
purchasing a home or buying a car, or paying for their education. And how
those type of things can relate to the diff between good debt and bad debt in
the sense that where is it (trk 7)okay to incur debt if you’re building assets
and how do you go about doing that in the smartest possible way?


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