The Problem

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The financial health of Canadians is deteriorating.

Statistics show that Canadian high school students are inadequately prepared to face the financial burdens of the real world. There has never been a point in history where the capital markets have been as accessible to such a substantial number of people as they are now. As a result, the development of a strong financial literacy base at the core of every young Canadian student is more crucial than ever before.

 

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Spending more, Saving less

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Between 1990 and 2010, personal savings rates for
Canadians declined from 13% to just over 4%

(Source: The Future of Financial Education, Financial
Consumer Agency of Canada, 2011)
.

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Over the same time period, the debt-to-income
ratio rose from 91% to 148%.

(Source: The Future of Financial Education, Financial
Consumer Agency of Canada, 2011)
.

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Lack of Financial Planning

49%

 

Forty-nine percent of all Canadian adults say they do not have a budget at all.

(Source)
57%

 

This proportion climbs to 57% for Canadians between the ages of 18 and 29.

(Source)
50%

 

Fifty percent of high school graduates already carry debt.

(Source)
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Unprepared Youth

94%

 

Ninety-four percent of Canadians between the ages of 16 and 24 say being good with money is an important life skill.

(Source)
36%

 

However, only 36% believe in their ability to develop a budget.

(Source)
55%

 

Fifty-five percent of Canadian youth worry about money.

(Source)

Our Solution

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We use existing resources and institutions in place to empower Canadian youth through financial education. By integrating workshop-based teaching into existing curricula, university-level mentors provide Canadian high school students with a multi-faceted education in financial literacy. This not only gives them the confidence to make smart financial decisions and start them down the path toward economic success, but also enables them to improve the financial health of communities across the globe.

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PARTNERS

We partner with high schools as we adapt our financial education program to fit best the needs of the schools and individual students. Through hour long weekly sessions in small groups, taught by knowledgeable, engaging, university level mentors, we help bridge the financial literacy gap by fostering a community of shared intellectual resources.

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THE CURRICULUM

We have adopted one of the most effective high school financial literacy curricula created, originally developed by Moneythink in 2009. Their curriculum has been adapted by PennyDrops to follow the Canadian Financial system, as well as to fit the needs of individual schools and students.

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THE MENTORS

With our target mentor-to-student ratio of 5:1, we train a large group of passionate university level students who demonstrate both responsibility for their work and dedication to our mission. All mentors go through extensive training to ensure that they are equipped with the tools, skills and knowledge they need to effectively and engagingly deliver the curriculum.

Our Two Cents

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We believe that the penny finally drops when students are able to articulate to others what they have learned in the program. All students who have completed PennyDrops’ curriculum have the opportunity to contribute to a financial literacy program targeting a particular marginalized group of individuals.

It can often be difficult to see how we can positively impact the lives of individuals across the globe. By serving as a bridge between Canadian youth and marginalized populations abroad, PennyDrops gives high school students eager to make a difference the means to do so. Not only is this beneficial from a practical knowledge standpoint, it also develops values of compassion, personal growth and leadership.

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“You never fully understand something until you can teach it to your grandmother.”- Albert Einstein 

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How it works

The heart of our mission is to promote financial success and economic health via financial literacy. Given the drastic knowledge gap among a variety of marginalized groups around the world, it is evident that educating high school students, although fundamental, is only a fraction of  the problem.In response to this, we have partnered with global NGOs to help design financial literacy programs targeting marginalized groups internationally. This enables us to not only invest in financial education on a larger scale, but also give Canadian high school students the opportunity to join forces with us as we do so.
Young, creative individuals who have a recently instilled understanding of financial concepts are perfectly positioned to develop new and innovative ways of effectively passing along their knowledge. Not only does this further enforce and test their own financial capacity, it gets them excited about tangibly impacting the lives of others.Students can choose lessons from PennyDrops’ curriculum to form the basis of their project, from creating a financial literacy guide for widows starting their own businesses in Zambia to developing a social entrepreneurship venture focused on aiding marginalized groups in Montreal. PennyDrops will provide the resources, knowledge, and partnerships necessary to enable students to utilize their financial knowledge to better the lives of others.

Our Impact

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Because of the PennyDrops program

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92% of students reported an increase in their financial knowledge

77% of students stated an increased awareness in the dangers of credit card debt

41% more students now maintain a budget

63% of students are now actively planning for their financial future

73% of students feel more prepared to face post-secondary financial challenges

60% of students feel more prepared for the job market

75% of mentors feel more comfortable with their own financial knowledge

Student quotes

I liked that the things we were taught were actually useful.

Evan

Lower Canada College
I really enjoyed interacting with the group and listening to other people's experiences with money.

Ioanna

Miss Edgar’s and Miss Cramp’s School
I really enjoyed learning about how to make smart choices with money and being better prepared for the future.

Student from Miss Edgar’s and Miss Cramp’s School
The examples were relatable and the program made the concepts easy to grasp. The instructors were also very friendly!

Thomas

Westmount High School

Teacher quote

The PennyDrops program has been a huge success! The students are really enjoying covering the material and learning valuable life skills. They always look forward to meeting [their mentors] and are disappointed it will wrap up in December.

Ms. Flowers

Miss Edgar’s and Miss Cramp’s School

Mentor quote

I enjoyed working with the kids and just having a good time with them. They really saw the value in learning financial literacy.

Thurstyn Parhar

McGill University
As a mentor, I feel privileged to have been able to facilitate this learning and watch the students become more confident in their financial knowledge.

Sophie Beaton

McGill University
It was great to see how responsive the teenagers were in regards to the program content.

Vicky Cheung

McGill University

Our Team

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As university students who, like many others, found themselves being thrown into the world of financial independence, it wasn’t difficult for us to see the common lack of personal financial knowledge amongst students like ourselves. Further conversations and months of research made the ever growing problem of financial illiteracy among Canadian youth increasingly apparent, motivating our co-founders, Meagan Prins and Brenden McKinney, to search for a solution. This solution was manifested in the development of PennyDrops. The organization was first developed in 2014, out of Femmedere, which is a student run social enterprise at McGill University that aims to educate and support marginalized populations in Montreal. Our goal is to mandate financial literacy education nationwide and to bridge the financial literacy gap by fostering a community of shared intellectual resources.

BRENDEN MCKINNEY

Executive Director

MEAGAN PRINS

Executive Director

PHAEDRA DE SAINT-ROME

English Program Director

ANTOINE FRANCOEUR

French Program Director

ANNE-SOPHIE MARTIN

French Program Director

Contact

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The demand for PennyDrops’ program is more than we could have ever anticipated and the growth opportunities are countless. If you’re interested in joining us as we pave the way to a more financially literate Canada, then you’ve come to the right place. Whether you’re a teacher, a parent, or a university student, please reach out to us for more information through the contact form below.

About Us

We are a group of university students who are passionate about effecting real change in the very communities we live in. We developed PennyDrops in order to aid in the advancement of financial literacy of Canadian youth. PennyDrops seeks to educate students on the importance of mindful spending and provides them with the skills they need to become financially independent.

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