JA of Central Texas kicked off Financial Literacy Month by bringing together over 100 women executives, emerging leaders and students to learn how to improve their own financial wellness and empower others to become more financially literate at the inaugural JA F.E.M. Forum. Speaker and Panel Moderator Lisa Kottler set the stage for the event when she shared that financial inequity for women can start at an early age - a recent report found parents paid boys twice as much for doing chores per week than girls.
The panel of women experts included Stuart Vick Smith, Tausha Robertson, Tiffanie Harrrison, Kelcy Flores, and Allegra Moet Brantly. During a discussion about learning to make your money work for you, panelist Allegra Moet Brantly challenged the audience by asking "is your money sitting on the couch watching Netflix or is it working out on the treadmill?" Other words of wisdom from panelists included ask for a mentor, always pay yourself first by saving a set amount from each paycheck, don't spend more than you earn and ask the questions that feel on the edge of comfort when negotiating your salary.
“Power is unlimited, we don't have to compete with each other to reach our goals” were the reflections from JA teen entrepreneur and student speaker Lawrel Andry on what she’s learned about how women can be stronger together. The JA F.E.M. Forum culminated with table attendees working together on a JA Financial Literacy Lesson on budgeting. JA-developed lesson plans are engaging and easy-to-follow, allowing JA volunteers to incorporate their unique experiences.