Today, the average white family has eight times the wealth of the average Black family, according to the Federal Reserve’s 2019 Survey of Consumer Finances. In 2019, white Americans had a median family wealth of $188,200, while Black Americans had a median family wealth of just $24,100. Although there is no one-size-fits-all solution to bridging this gap, financial education can lead to making better money choices for underserved families.
To expand financial literacy education and support the next generation of financial planners to be as diverse as the clients they serve, Origin, the employee financial wellness platform, announced per a news release the formation of their new philanthropic initiative – the Origin Diversity Program. Through the program, Origin has committed time, resources, and funds to further its mission of bringing financial wellness to every employee, no matter their income, net worth, or location.
“We’ve heard from customers that their employees want financial advice from financial planners who understand their unique challenges and goals, but the pool of Certified Financial Planners doesn’t match the diverse workforces Origin serves,” said Matt Watson, CEO and co-founder of Origin. “With the Origin Diversity Program, we hope to break down the barriers to financial wellness by tackling the problem at the root – making financial literacy accessible to marginalized youth and paving a path for underrepresented professionals to make a career in financial planning.”
Through the program’s education initiative, Origin will provide digital financial literacy courses to high school students from low-income, underserved communities. The courses will cover the practical steps of managing personal finances and the skills to build lasting, healthy financial habits.
Through the program’s scholarship fund, Origin has committed to cover the cost of the CFP® professional exam, training materials, and classes to support the advancement of underrepresented professionals in financial planning, awarding 10 grants valued at $50,000 in its inaugural year. Grantees will also have access to Origin’s diverse financial planner network for mentorship and development.
“The best time to start financial planning is yesterday,” said Ryan Xue, head of strategy and business operations and the Origin Diversity Program lead at Origin. In a statement, he also said that “Many employees who use Origin have big goals in their future but would have had better outcomes had they understood their finances and taken action earlier in their lives. Unfortunately, so many young people don’t have access to the resources and education they need to learn healthy financial habits before they ever enter the workforce. By providing Origin’s wealth of financial education to high schools in marginalized communities, we can help young people start on the right foot for an even brighter financial future.”