At a time when consumer debt is at an all-time high, Future FortuneBuilders (FFB) was created to help fill the current financial literacy education gap. Launched by a team of enthusiastic educators at FortuneBuilders, a national real estate education and coaching company based in Pacific Beach, FFB was created to provide financial education to children aged 13 to 17.
Than Merrill, CEO of FortuneBuilders, and J.P. Servideo, professional youth speaker, founded the program with the goal of giving younger generations the tools to have successful financial futures.
“We saw a need in the education industry that aligned with our company’s core values,” Merrill said. “By educating future generations about financial education earlier in life, we believe they will have a higher chance at being successful entrepreneurs in the future.”
The program functions as a two-day camp where teens receive a type of education not typically found in traditional high school curriculums. Servideo, a trained motivational and youth speaker, trains teens on everything from the importance of goal setting to writing the perfect resume. Teens walk away from the camp with the ability to look at their money from an investor’s perspective and identify how they can start to build credit early in life.
“It’s no surprise to me that a majority of these kids show up to this camp because their parents forced them to come,” Servideo said. “They come through the doors with low energy, but my job is to have them leave excited and prepared for the future.
“My favorite part of every event is the moment when I see the students finally get it – when their eyes light up because they realize what is possible,” Servideo said.
At every FFB camp, Servideo strives to set a positive tone for the weekend and proves that education can be both beneficial and exciting. The energy in the room starts to change as students become more comfortable with one another and the constant activity and movement throughout the day ensures that not a single teen leaves without admitting they had some fun.
One student from a past event summarized this feeling by saying: “This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I learned so much that I did not know before. I think we really need to know more about money since they don’t really offer that in school!”
Currently the camp is put on at no cost, through FortuneBuilders charitable arm FB Gives, to teen relatives and friends of students in FortuneBuilders coaching program.
Additionally, in select larger markets the company visits, they offer scholarships to a hand selected group of high school students in the local area. FFB has awarded more than 100 scholarships to high schoolers and intends to grant even more in an attempt to educate teens to ensure a more financially savvy upcoming generation.
Since launching the two-day camp initiative in January of this year, FortuneBuilders has put on three camps; the first having been launched in Atlanta, followed by one in Houston, with the most recent being in San Francisco.
“Each event is that much more inspiring than the last, as you get to see the kids come out of the event ready to overcome whatever obstacles they may have,” Merrill said.
Ultimately, Future FortuneBuilders aims to empower the nation’s youth with the essential skills needed to succeed working toward developing the next generation’s entrepreneurs. Merrill, Servideo, and the entire FFB team are passionate about passing on their knowledge to teens who aren’t always given enough opportunity and will continue to making major strides in their initiative.
The next FFB camp is slated to take place in May in Washington, D.C. followed by St. Louis in June. For more information, visit fortunebuilders.com.