For seventeen-year-old Aisha Barrows, making wise financial choices is important on her journey to save money for college, support her family and change her community. Barrows is a high school junior and an active member at Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver. Holding a 3.4 grade point average in the top percentile of her class, her dedication to education extends beyond the classroom.
Barrows’ ultimate goal is to be a highly educated and financially independent teacher. Since completing the Money Matters: Make It Count program at her Club, she uses money saving tips to educate teens and adults in her community on the important topic of financial literacy. She airs the tips on her bi-monthly radio show, “The Melting Pot” on KYGT-FM, highlighting money-saving tips through public service announcements. She has received a great response from the show including comments from classmates who tune in to hear her advice.
Barrows was further motivated to get serious about creating a financial plan after her mother became sick and was no longer able to work. The family faced unexpected financial hardships and Barrows decided to take action by finding ways to earn money aside from her part-time job at a local jewelry store. She sold unwanted personal items, did household chores for her neighbors and even held a fundraiser where she raised $2,000 to help pay for her passport and a school trip to Europe.
Barrows also used the knowledge gained in Money Matters to start a 529 tax-advantaged investment plan for college. “After Money Matters, I took full advantage of CollegeInvest and College in Colorado websites. I wanted to use all the resources I could for saving for college,” Barrows said.
Another important lesson she’s learned is saving for her future. She’s pledged to save 50 percent of every summer paycheck to help pay for college and says the most important thing she’s learned from the Money Matters program is how to budget her finances and to distinguish her “wants” from her “needs.”
Barrows is a leader in her community and at her Club where she’s participated in the Triple Play Leadership Club, Keystone Club, NCCC AmeriCorps Summer of Service, Career Launch, and she has completed over 250 hours of community service with the Presidential Volunteer Service program. Barrows was also recognized through her Boys & Girls Club as Youth of the Month, a National Finalist in a Photography competition, a Regional Winner in a fine arts competition and received the Mayor & Commissioner’s Youth Award.
She plans to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Northern Colorado and hopes to work with Teach for America after she graduates. Barrows dreams of being a one-of-a-kind teacher who uses her passion for music and art to educate her students.