What does a cookie jar have in common with financial literacy? A lot more than you might think. TSYS recently joined forces with a local Girls Inc. chapter to bring fundamentals of financial literacy to local teen girls, and while the average teenager might not be interested in a course on personal finance, a cookie jar provided just the right incentive to gain their attention. And so “Project Cookie Jar” was born.
The cookie jar concept originated from a TSYS team member and “Project Cookie Jar” volunteer whose earliest memories involved her grandmother keeping extra money in her cookie jar. This surplus provided ice cream funds and other treats that left an impression on Gail Burgos, founding member of the joint TSYS and Girls, Inc. of Columbus and Phenix-Russell program.
“My grandmother would go into her cookie jar and pull out a few dollars for us to get popsicles,” she said. “That kind of stuck with me when I was little.”
The program began in 2015 and reached dozens of girls with curriculum and practical exercises on shopping and using coupons, budgeting, checking and savings accounts, pros and cons of credit cards and much more.
TSYS volunteers target middle and high school teens – often the age when children start making some financial and purchase decisions for themselves. From buying personal items to preparing for college and learning about taxes, TSYS volunteers strive to equip the teen girls with knowledge, practical guidance and confidence to make wise choices with their money.