Aspen High students to teach financial literacy at powwow |

Aspen High students to teach financial literacy at powwow

Aspen Indigenous Club members Collin Luu, Blake Zilberman, and Luka Jaramaz.
Blake Zilberman/Courtesy photo

Students in the Aspen High School Indigenous Foundation Club are prepping to teach the first-ever, financial-literacy class at the Aspen Indigenous Foundation Powwow this weekend.

“I saw that Aspen is offering this powwow, and I started getting involved through that. Then I decided to help the next generation of indigenous youth, help better their financial-literacy scores, and help better their financial futures, by teaching this class to elementary and middle school students,” said Blake Zilberman, a sophomore at Aspen High and member of the Aspen Indigenous Club.

According to research done by him, Native Americans scored the lowest in a financial-literacy study done by the Social Security Administration.

“I find that the conversation in terms of helping Native Americans is much quieter as a whole, and I think that it’s really important to help Native Americans as a whole because because we are on their land, and and they’ve been mistreated pretty severely over the years by the U.S. government and society as a whole,” Zilberman said.

In the hour-long course they have planned, he and his fellow club members will be covering the importance of financial literacy, managing your money, saving for things, and managing credit-card debt, among other things. He added they’re finding ways to teach these topics in a fun way that will engage the kids they are teaching and help them to remember it when they are adults.

“We’re using examples such as, ‘Is it better to spend your money on a lollipop now, or is it better to save it?’ and looking at the long-term effects of that,” he said.

In addition to teaching the class, the club has helped collect used laptops to donate to the reservations. Teaching this class is something the group hopes to continue doing even after the pow wow is over, Zilberman said.

“I have a strong passion for finance,” he said. “I think a lot of the club members are very excited about the opportunity to get involved from this small city of Aspen into a much larger movement that kind of spans not only through Aspen, but throughout the entire country.”


See more