Money Stories Program Employs Junior Facilitators
Money Stories: Grounding Aboriginal Youth in the Lessons of their Elders is bringing money management to youth through the lens of traditional cultural teachings.
This past year, students at both Children of the Earth High School (COTE) and the Community Education Development Association (CEDA) took part in the Money Stories program. Youth at the sessions learned about record-keeping, budgeting, credit, banking, and more. Elders provided support, passed on cultural teachings and shared their own “money stories” to help connect Western concepts of money management to the participants’ culture and history.
In the spring, SEED hired five Money Management Training graduates as Junior Facilitators for its summer program. SEED provided an intensive training program and summer employment opportunity for these youth who then went into the community with the Elders and SEED facilitators to provide Money Management Training in community organizations.
Any other employer would have said ‘sorry,’ she explains. “But not SEED. SEED helped the student apply for a SIN, paid for a rush application, and then helped open a bank account.
Jasmine is in her second year as a Junior Facilitator. “It’s cool that they [Elders] have such a different way. Their generation is so different than ours. They value things so much more.” For Tristan, a first year Junior Facilitator, the best part of having the Elders involved is the wisdom they bring through their stories. “It’s hearing the life they’ve lived, and how they can teach it to youth.”
Jackie Dolynchuk is a Community Support Worker at COTE during the school year, and works with the Junior Facilitators during the summer. “I’ve been so impressed with this group,” she explains. “These kids, many of them face barriers. The risks they were willing to take on – even when they were nervous, they went out and facilitated. They have high expectations of themselves, and have taken on difficult tasks.”
For some of the Junior Facilitators, SEED is their first employer. Jackie remembers one Junior Facilitator who, it was discovered during orientation, didn’t have a Social Insurance Number (SIN) or birth certificate. “Any other employer would have said ‘sorry,’” she explains. “But not SEED. SEED [ID Fund] helped the student apply for a SIN, paid for a rush application, and then helped open a bank account.”