Student Spotlight: Jonah Poueriet of Financial Literacy for the Youth

Financial literacy is an important aspect of one’s daily and professional life. While this topic is so important, many students and youth in general, are not taught about it or even come across its benefits until they start their adult life. Without knowledge of financial literacy, many people lack the resources and understanding to make informed financial decisions. FLY (Financial Literacy for the Youth) is an on-campus organization whose mission is to “provide a financial wellness education to the youth of the Binghamton area. [They] will train BU students to then prepare a generation of individuals in the greater Binghamton area to have the tools and capabilities to accelerate economic growth.” To learn more about their Vice President, Jonah Poueriet, and this organization, please read below. 

Tell me about yourself.

My name is Jonah Poueriet, and I am currently a junior at Binghamton University. I am a first-generation college student pursuing a major in Economics. Within the campus community, I hold the position of Vice President of Events for Financial Literacy for the Youth, which is an educational club on campus aimed at empowering young individuals with essential knowledge about personal finances. Our mission at Financial Literacy for the Youth is to equip the younger generation with the skills and understanding they need to make informed financial decisions to reach financial success in the future.

What are you passionate about?

I am passionate about learning about financial literacy and using it to empower others. My drive in this area has deep roots in my personal experiences. Growing up as the child of Dominican immigrant parents, I witnessed firsthand the challenges and struggles that can arise from a lack of knowledge in financial literacy. These experiences within my family motivated me to pursue a college education, specifically in the fields of business and economics, with the ultimate goal of becoming a financial guide for my parents and others in my community. This has led me to getting involved in the Financial Literacy for the Youth (FLY) and other organizations on campus, seeking out leadership positions to help make a positive impact on fellow students. I believe that education in financial matters can be transformative and can help individuals, especially those in underserved communities, achieve greater financial stability and success. Looking ahead, my career aspirations include establishing myself within a financial firm. That provides me with the opportunity to continue learning and growing in the field of finance while expanding my network and platform. My long-term goal is to be a source of guidance and support for individuals and families, just as I had wished for my own family when I started on this journey. I am truly passionate about making a difference in the lives of others.

As a student leader, how important is it for students to be involved on campus? 

As a student leader, I believe that getting involved on campus is absolutely transformative for one’s college experience. When I transferred here during my sophomore year, I faced the challenge of not knowing many people and transitioning to a new major. However, by actively engaging in various campus organizations like FLY, the Real Estate Society, Powerlifting, and just showing up to campus events, I was able to quickly establish myself and connect with a diverse group of individuals. In my experience, campus involvement is a gateway to achieving that sense of belonging and expanding your circle of friends. It’s what shapes and strengthens our campus community, allowing students to develop personally and socially while making the most of their time in college.

What skills have you gained by being a member of this Executive Board?

Being a member of the Executive Board has been an invaluable experience that has helped me develop a range of important skills. First and foremost, the leadership position has taught me the significance of organizational and time management skills. Balancing my academic workload, personal life, and executive board responsibilities has pushed me to become more efficient and organized in order to excel in all areas. Moreover, serving on the Executive Board has honed my public speaking skills. It’s crucial to be able to articulate ideas and thoughts effectively, especially in a leadership role. Learning to communicate confidently and persuasively has been a key takeaway from this experience. In addition, the role has emphasized the importance of active listening. Being part of a team that collaborates on various initiatives requires the ability to not only express one’s ideas but also to genuinely engage with the ideas of others. Actively listening and considering diverse perspectives has been an essential skill that I believe is critical for success in any field. FLY has provided me with a platform to practice and develop these essential skills, which I believe are fundamental for personal growth and future success.

Why did you first join this organization?

I initially joined this organization, Financial Literacy for the Youth (FLY), because I had a genuine curiosity about learning and understanding financial literacy for my own benefit. Prior to joining FLY, I had already taken the initiative to educate myself by watching YouTube videos and reading books on financial concepts. However, my decision to become a part of FLY was solidified when I met Edon Prelvukaj, the previous president and founder of the organization, at Ufest during my sophomore year. Joining FLY was a no-brainer for me as I discovered a group of people with an amazing mission that genuinely interested me. During that semester, I attended nearly every FLY event possible, eager to absorb as much knowledge as I could, and then later obtaining a leadership position within the organization.

How does your organization benefit students in terms of economic growth, resources, and financial literacy?

FLY’s core mission is to increase financial literacy by empowering young people to understand and take control of their personal finances. This knowledge empowers our members to make informed financial decisions and, in turn, utilize their skills within their communities, ultimately contributing to economic growth. As a club, FLY is dedicated to setting young individuals on a path to financial success in their future. We achieve these goals through various educational events on financial literacy topics, promoting learning and growth in the subject. Our signature initiative is an 8-week program on campus, where we teach critical financial literacy topics such as budgeting, credit management, taxes, loans, insurance, bonds, and stocks/mutual funds to our Binghamton University community. Additionally, we provide opportunities for our members who have participated in these educational events to volunteer in outreach programs at local high schools, such as Whitney Point and Windsor. These outreach events involve teaching the same financial topics and lessons they’ve learned from us to high school students, creating a ripple effect of financial education. Our organization not only equips students with essential financial knowledge but also encourages them to share this knowledge with others in the community, thus contributing to economic growth and fostering financial literacy on both the individual and community levels.

By Stephanie Ramirez-Cisneros
Stephanie Ramirez-Cisneros Senior Peer Consultant