Shaquan’s Blog

Shaquan Thomas is a participant in Dress for Success’s Financial Literacy Program. To ask Shaquan a question, go here.

April 4, 2011

To Catch a Dollar really was an eye opener for me.  Muhammad Yunus bravely told the story of a few families, but the echoes of their plight can be heard around the world. The majority of people have been suffering the effects of the recent recession, however, there are so many who have been living in a “recession” most of their lives!  Muhammad was not looking to give a hand out to help families be codependent; he gave a hand up, teaching financial literacy and creating a support system to promote success. I was truly amazed at how a single man with tenacity and revolutionary thinking made such a great impact in several communities.

After seeing the movie, I began to think that I can make a difference by empowering myself through financial literacy. So many in my family and community have lived based on TODAY and never prepared for TOMORROW. Too often we take what we have for granted, no one is promised they will have a job tomorrow. The condition of our health is unpredictable. We constantly rush through life checking off the “To Do” list and don’t pay attention to our bodies. Retirement seems like a foreign word in my family and community because most have worked until health issues prevented it, or otherwise. I was never taught to prepare for the unknown.  Instead I was taught to work hard and maybe I could survive…maybe.

I want to have control of my financial future and not have to wonder how I will support myself if I lose income. In today’s time of economic insecurity, financial literacy should be a mandatory course. I feel that financial literacy is an ongoing process and educating ourselves should continue as our financial needs change.  To Catch a Dollar speaks to everyone in that financial literacy is a necessity for human existence. When I am older I don’t want to survive, I want to live!


March 10, 2011

Money was never a topic of discussion in my family when I was growing up. However, I saw the strain that was caused from the lack of not having enough resources to createa budget and support basic necessities. I remember hearing my mother repeating thephrase “robbing Peter to pay Paul.” I just couldn’t understand why almost everyone Iknew was struggling to make ends meet. How did this happen to so many people in my family and community?

In today’s economic times it is imperative that EVERYONE has an understanding oftheir finances in order to take preventative measures towards financial disorder. Had Ibeen taught financial literacy prior my first job, I would have made better choices with themoney I earned. There are so many areas of financial literacy that I need to learn suchas reestablishing credit, how to reduce debt, creating an emergency fund, following awritten budget, the different types of IRAs, and maximizing a company’s 401k or 403b.

I am so excited to have the opportunity to take the Financial Literacy Program offered byDress for Success! Educating myself in finance will empower both me and my childrento take charge of the income we accumulate and to manage debt so that it doesn’tconsume us. I am a giver and I know that by being proactive in my financial life, mychildren will learn from my example that it is never too late to change your future.

- Shaquan


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