Become a CARE Chicago Volunteer

Why Volunteer with
CARE Chicago?

“Volunteering with CARE has been the single most impactful organization I’ve supported in the last 10 years. When I first joined, I had no idea there were organizations like CARE Chicago that recruited legal and financial professionals like me to give financial literacy presentations in Chicago-area schools. Financial literacy has always been a passion of mine, especially because I grew up in a household where observation of the principles that CARE teaches would have saved my parents a lot of aggravation and hard times.

CARE is our chance to explain to youth how to avoid a bad start in the confusing world of credit cards, loans, personal budgeting, bank accounts, etc. There are no high school courses available that give students a true understanding of the practical side of one’s early financial life. By offering personal stories and real-world experiences, we provide students with a unique perspective that the traditional classroom setting simply can’t deliver. CARE’s efforts are vital to driving financial literacy in Chicago.”

Jarad Winget Volunteer

Seeing the light bulb go on over a high school student’s head gives me immense satisfaction. The life lessons we teach are very important and many students just don’t get financial education at home or at school. Some students have small bits of knowledge but not a whole picture of what it takes to be financially savvy. They are sponges for our knowledge and experience. Also, I think I get just as much out of the experience as the students do – there is always more to learn about our subject matter, about how to be a good communicator, about how to manage a classroom. I love being a part of this dedicated team that is always sharing our teaching experiences and working collaboratively to do better and more effective presentations, reach more students. After a decade with CARE I still get excited about the work we do!

Erica Wax Volunteer

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Why is Financial
Literacy a Big Deal?

If you’re interested in becoming a CARE volunteer, we invite you to join us now! We’ve got an important mission we’re trying to achieve.

The need to teach the fundamentals of personal financial management has never been greater. A survey conducted by the FINRA Investor Education Foundation concluded that Americans demonstrate low levels of financial literacy and have difficulty applying financial decision-making skills to real-life situations.

For example, most Americans do not comparison-shop for credit cards, with 61% saying that in obtaining their most recent credit card, they did not collect and compare information about cards from more than one company. Despite the need, the “2022 Survey of the States” conducted by the Council for Economic Education found many states—including Illinois—do not yet mandate high school students to take courses on personal finance.

Nevertheless, many schools in the Chicago area are including personal finance in their curricula, especially for high school juniors and seniors. As a volunteer, you have the power to support this. CARE Chicago has been working with Chicago-area schools and organizations for around 20 years and has built coalitions with over 50 schools—including many in Chicago Public Schools–who invite us back year after year to give CARE presentations.

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Format of Presentations

Most CARE presentations are made in-person to high school students, although on occasion a school requests a virtual presentation via an application like Zoom or Google Meet. CARE also receives a limited number of requests to present to student or adult groups on weekday evenings or weekends.

In order to engage our audiences, we often supplement our presentations with videos, and game applications such as Kahoot. We strongly recommend that a new presenter “second chair” at least three presentations before taking the lead on one.

Does CARE Chicago Train its Volunteers?
How does the process work?

Yes! CARE Chicago provides training to its volunteers. Usually, new volunteers will experience onboarding like this:

New Volunteer Training New volunteers whose applications are accepted by CARE will be asked to sign up for a virtual training session that lasts about one hour. Upon completion of that session, the volunteer will become eligible to sign up for presentations, but will never be obligated to do so.


Chicago Public Schools requires a simple background check (free of charge to you as a volunteer). We’ll facilitate this process for you.


Join a CARE presentation as an Associate presenter. Read and review the materials in advance to understand what’s being discussed and take notes for your first presentation! There will be a Lead Presenter at the presentation who will bring you into the discussion with the class.


After serving as an Associate Presenter in as many presentations as you wish, you can join a presentation as a Lead presenter on a topic you care about most.


Feeling comfortable? Now you can go solo if you prefer it. You’ll always have the opportunity to be paired with other lead presenters.

“As a bankruptcy judge in a major metropolitan market, I see thousands of consumers go through my courtroom every month. They run the gamut from individuals and families living in extreme poverty to high-income earners with even higher debt obligations. CARE presents an opportunity to teach these individuals smart money management skills so that they can avoid bankruptcy courtrooms. In fact, I always tell the students I meet that I NEVER EVER want to see them in my courtroom – unless they are there as attorneys representing clients! CARE provides them with the knowledge they need to achieve their financial goals.”

Hon. Janet S. Baer
United States Bankruptcy Judge
Norther District of Illinois

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