For a future so bright, you’ll need SHADES!

Operation SHADES provides a series of financial literacy classes for targeted high school youth, ages 16-18 and may include older emancipated foster youth.
   After several years of teaching financial literacy classes to at-risk junior and senior students in the Temecula and Lake Elsinore High Schools, Operation SHADES is now offering the classes at Alternatives to Domestic Violence and Rancho Damacitas.
Many consumers have very little understanding of finances, how credit works and the potential impact of bad decisions on their financial well-being. The SHADES program is designed to help people learn to manage their money and improve their chances of success in life.
In the high schools, the SHADES Personal Finance Conference is presented as full-day, on-site class. The format is designed like a business meeting, with breakfast and lunch provided. Classes are taught by Assistance League members and community partners from local banks and the United Way, using PowerPoint presentations with videos and exercises.
The course starts with the basics of setting goals and budgeting, followed by financial topics such as setting up bank accounts, establishing credit and using it wisely, and avoiding the pitfalls of identity theft. Other topics include the costs of buying and owning a car and how to write a resume and find a job. A special Jeopardy game is used at the end of the day to help students review the material in a fun and engaging way.
Each student receives a SHADES tote bag, a notebook containing all the class materials, and the book Why Didn’t They Teach Me This in School? plus a completion certificate, a $25 mall gift card, and a pair of signature “shades” (sunglasses) representing the bright future they will have by using their new knowledge.
The response from the school counseling staff members and the students is consistently positive. “Thanks again to you and your crew for an outstanding SHADES Conference! I think your group does an outstanding job creating a trusting/caring environment where kids can be open and candid about their curiosity regarding finances,” said Linda Zimel, Counselor at Chaparral High School, after the latest class.
With the expansion of Operation SHADES to new audiences at Alternatives to Domestic Violence and Rancho Damacitas, we hope to help even more people acquire the financial skills they need to survive in today’s complex world.