Based on a lasting promise he made to a brother who died four decades ago, Nicholas Josey teaches a small class of young people how to prepare for a life of financial responsibility.

“Who is the most important person in this room?” Asks Josey, a 1990 graduate of the Northeast, the executive director of the Winning institute, a nonprofit financial education organization based in Boston. The answer, he says to each student, is you.

Josey wants students ages 14-19 to assert their own meaning – dealing with money in a way that will empower them throughout their lives.

Josey left the financial services industry to start the Vincita Institute, which trains and encourages people of all backgrounds to make informed financial decisions. Photo by Alyssa Stone / Northeastern University

The weekly courses in financial literacy are held at Northeastern Crossing in partnership with. instead of Madison Park Development Corporation (MPDC), a 56-year-old non-profit based in Roxbury, a community bordering the Boston campus in the northeast. Yhinny Matos, youth leader at MPDC, recognized the need for a course in financial independence based on a survey of people in the community. Their insights led Matos to create courses that focus on finance, creative industries, healthcare, law, and construction.

“I called it career path sharing, these are the five basic career paths that young people were really receptive to,” says Matos. “We have been able to implement many different strategies and goals personally, and I cannot thank Northeastern enough for letting us use Northeastern Crossing. It did [the course] socially more interactive. “

Matos worked with Carl Barrows, director of Northeastern’s youth development and initiative project. He turned to Josey, who had worked with Northeastern City and community engagement Department for several years.

The weekly classes held at Northeastern Crossing are sponsored by Madison Park Development Corporation, a 56-year non-profit based in Roxbury. Photos by Alyssa Stone / Northeastern University

A 2020 to learn by the nonprofit Council for Economic Education in New York found that only 21 states require high school students to take a course in personal finance, while 25 states require a course in economics, suggesting that many teens receive training in personal Having to take finances into your own hands.

“Nick is from the northeast and has deep roots in our community,” says Barrows. “He wants many congregations – especially people of color – to do well financially. I’m very concerned that people in our communities can tap into this information, so it was a breeze for me. “

A tragic event inspired Josey to help others help themselves. In 1974, his eldest brother died in a violent incident at the age of 23.

“I was a military child in a very large family. I had seven brothers and three sisters and my oldest brother didn’t make it home, ”says Josey. “My brother was my first superhero. When I grew up and you made a promise to your superhero, you kept that promise.

Students ages 14-19 benefit from Josey’s applications of real-world storytelling that turns financial problems into personal affairs. Photo by Alyssa Stone / Northeastern University

“When he left I said I would make him proud of myself in some way. Since my brother died with no life insurance, I would find a way to get into an industry to make sure everyone I came in contact with had life insurance so they could properly bury their heroes. “

Josey studied economics and ran athletics at Northeastern, winning the 400-meter indoor championship in New England in 1985. He worked in the financial services industry – selling stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and various types of insurance – for a decade when he made an abrupt career change.

He founded the Vincita Institute to educate and encourage people of all backgrounds to make informed financial decisions – and prepare for unexpected events. On Thursday morning, Josey asks his students a hypothetical question about what might happen if a head of household doesn’t return home one day. In response to their silence, Josey turns her back and writes Life insurance on the whiteboard in the classroom.

“I was traveling around the country and it was great to talk to big companies and their employees,” says Josey. “But I’ve found that there are a lot of people here at home who would miss the opportunity to get this information if they didn’t work for a good company. So I got off the road 17 years ago and started the Vincita Institute. To win is the Italian word for “victory of the people”. When you talk about financial matters, you want people to be victorious. “

Josey connects students with fictional adult personalities and enables teenagers to experience the financial decisions they will soon be making in everyday life. He jokes and uses real-life images to turn financial problems into personal affairs.

“Who has the purchasing power?” Asks Josey the students.

To help them answer this question, he points out that companies are at the mercy of customers. Therefore, his students should insist on being respected.

“They need you and your purchasing power,” says Josey. “If people are not nice to you, you go away and take your purchasing power elsewhere. You don’t have to make a big scene out of it. This is your statement in 2021: Bring your purchasing power to someone who is nice and appreciative to you. “

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