The Youth Power Academy of Finance
at Edgewood College
Building Financial Savvy
|Instructor Richard Entenmann (upper left) with members of the Youth
Power Academy of Finance
community who are serving kids and see the value of this kind of programming and can help us reach out to parents and their kids to make it happen for the kids to
The first half of the week is spent on college readiness.
“We’re on the campus of Edgewood College,’ Entenmann observed. “We learn about admissions and financial aid. And they take a tour of campus. The kids range
from going into sixth grade to going into 11th or 12th grade. But many of them have never been on a college campus before and don’t really know what it is all about.
They don’t know about the physical, intangible feeling that you get. It gets them ready for college in that way. And they think together that college is for them and that
college is something they can do when the time comes for them.”
The second half is spent learning about personal finance.
“There is some really good content there on credit, budgeting, compounding interest and a little on investing this year,” Entenmann said. “And they did a project to
wrap up the week where they selected either a publically-traded company to study and present on or they had their own idea as a business plan and so that was their
The students came up with some pretty cool projects.
“My presentation is about a business plan that I have for the future,” said Miquel Meza who will be a sophomore at Verona Area High School. “It’s going to be like
Netflix, but you will have the 3D option where you can watch movies in 3D. It will also have 3D sound, which is going to allow you to listen in 3D. Basically, you can
hear someone talking over here and then over there. It will be a better experience so that you don’t have to waste money in the theater and you can do it on your
mobile device or you can be at home with your friends.”
Miguel’s cousin Saira Ardon, who recruited him into the program and will be a freshman at Verona, showed an interest in becoming a social entrepreneur with her
“I kind of did a program for kids of color or immigrant kids,” Ardon said. “I really feel that sometimes kids of color or immigrants need a lot of support with their future.
Sometimes they can become confused. I think it would be pretty cool to talk in a group and talk about what they’re feeling and what their ideas are. It’s a computer
Ardon recruited another cousin, Karen Ponce, an incoming freshman at Verona. Ponce was definitely interested in the finance side. She enjoyed learning about
finance and college scholarships. And for her final project, Ponce focused on one of the stars of Wall Street, Amazon.
“My project is about a stock,” Ponce said. “I did Amazon. Amazon is like a cool website that you can order stuff through and then they ship it to your home. They
actually make about $6 million in 20 minutes.”
As the program ended, many of the students expressed interest in coming back next year. They were feeling knowledgeable and empowered. And who knows, maybe
a future powerhouse company like Amazon will spring from the imaginations and financial savvy of the graduates of the Youth Power Academy of Science.
By Jonathan Gramling
Richard Entenmann and Robert Wynn of Asset Builders of America are on a mission to
strengthen the financial savvy and acumen of students of color to encourage
entrepreneurship and to empower the students to engage in the world of finance and
investment. Wynn has his Millionaire’s Clubs that teach students how and then helps them
actually engage in investing in the stock market.
Entenmann has his Youth Power Academy of Finance made possible through a grant from
the WI Dept. of Public Instruction and in-kind assistance from Edgewood College. This year’
s academy was held June 25-29.
“The Power Academy has been going on around 16 years,” Entenmann said. “To be honest,
I’ve lost track. This is one of our longest-running Asset Builders programs. We never know
too far in advance where the students will come from. We get most of our students through
connections and contacts. There are a couple of counselors in Verona we just happened to
get to know and work with them. They refer some kids. There are some teachers in the
Madison north side area schools who have referred some people. We will be back here
next year and we want more kids in the class. We’re actually looking for partners in the