Why Volunteer with
“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
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 recent 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 “2018 Survey of the States” conducted by the Council for Economic Education found that there has been little increase in economic education in recent years and no growth in personal finance education in K-12 schools.
As a volunteer, you have the power to change this. CARE Chicago has been working with Chicago-area schools and organizations for the last 17 years and has built coalitions with over 50 schools who invite us back year after year to give CARE presentations.
Format of Presentations
Historically CARE presentations were made in-person to a classroom of students. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic we now offer virtual presentations, including those to students in an in-person class, and those to a class of students that are participating remotely (from their own homes).
Virtual presentations are convenient for the presenter because no travel is required; all the presenter needs is a stable Internet connection with bandwidth sufficient for a Zoom/Teams/Meet presentation. However, because virtual presentations are inherently less interactive than live ones, more preparation is needed to maintain audience attention. We use game and polling applications, such as Kahoots, to liven up virtual presentations. We strongly recommend that a new presenter “second chair” at least three virtual presentations before taking the lead on one.
Does CARE Chicago Train its Volunteers?
How does the process work?
New Volunteer Registration Registering does not commit you to do a presentation. Instead, you will get access to our online scheduling system – Volgistics. We’ll review your application and admit you to the program within a few days.
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 observer. Read and review the materials in advance to understand what’s being discussed and take notes for your first presentation!
Join a seasoned CARE volunteer on your first presentation 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 volunteers.
“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