Welcome to Financial Jeopardy, courtesy of a group of Capital One employees who volunteer to help the people AHRC New York City supports become more financially savvy. Joseph Jout, Assistant Vice President of Commercial Risk and the host, selects Safety for $500. “What shouldn’t you do when shopping online?” he reads.
Financial Jeopardy is adapted to promote learning financial literacy in a fun way. Each question provides an array of answers from which people choose. There was no stumping the group from AHRC NYC’s Staten Island Employment Business Services. They knew the answer was to never give out your bank account numbers.
“Community partners play a tremendous role in AHRC NYC’s programs,” said Karen Zuckerman, Director of Community Partners and Corporate Engagement. “Whether it’s music, theater, karaoke, book club, wrestling talk or yoga, our community partners continue to enhance the lives of the people we support. They’ve been doing so from all over the world since our programs pivoted to virtual at the height of the pandemic. For many partners, it’s their first interaction with people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities.”
Modifying Jeopardy to Learn Financial Literacy
Malik Ismalia, who also loves trivia about calendars, selected Values for $200. “True or false,” Joseph said. “You need to budget your money more carefully when you have credit card debt, to on a monthly basis.”
This was a tough question, but the Capital One community partners discussed it in a way that guided the contestants from Staten Island Employment & Business Services to the correct answer.
“The more expenses you have to pay on a monthly basis, means you probably shouldn’t be buying new video games, or going out for pizza or McDonalds as much,” Joseph said.
Another question asked, “What to do if you lose your ATM card?”
Elica Lopez knew immediately. “Contact the bank immediately to deactivate the card,” she said.
The Capital One staff members encourage the AHRC NYC contestants with smiles and messages of support in the chat.
Columbia Business School Students Share Knowledge
For nearly eight years, students from the Columbia Business School have volunteered with AHRC NYC to teach financial literacy. Some of the concepts they covered. were new to attendees.
“Think of cash as your own money or salary from an employer,” said Rui Li of Columbia Business School. “Credit and borrowing are someone else’s money,” and borrowers may have to pay interest.
They explained that if a person borrows $100 from a family member, they may charge a minimal fee of $2 or so, just for the trouble. They know you will pay the money back. A credit card company will charge much more if payment is not timely. “When you use a credit card, try to pay back within a month, and then you don’t have to pay interest,” said Dhiuv Sharma.
“Yeah, that makes sense,” said Eric Ortega, from AHRC NYC’s Brooklyn Employment Business Services.
‘This Is My Favorite Part of My Job’
The topic was needs vs. wants.
“I want to live in a mansion,” Charice Walker, Senior Ponce Banker, said with a laugh during a Financial Literacy course earlier this week.
The example and other activities helped attendees differentiate between needs, the things people need to live, such as rent and bills, and wants, things you don’t need to survive but would enjoy.
During one exercise, attendees debated whether a dog was a need or a want. Some felt it was not necessary, but others pointed out that they may need the companionship or emotional support of a dog.
“I learned that you have to save money and not waste it on unnecessary stuff,” said Joshua Imparato.
“This is my favorite part of my job,” said Robert Bullock, Ponce Bank Retail Customer Manager, who has been in the industry for over 20 years.