April 02, 2015
Wharton professor Keith Weigelt is the Robin Hood of Philadelphia’s urban education arena.
Four years ago, Weigelt developed a free financial literacy education program for Philadelphia’s urban population through The University of Pennsylvania Wharton School with a mission of combating the racial wealth gap, particularly in West Philadelphia.
The program, Building Bridges to Wealth, teaches financial literacy to middle-school children to adults, touching on topics such as assistance on creating a business plan, balancing a weekly budget and tips for getting a credit score in check.
Weigelt also teaches financial literacy to elite private school students for a fee and puts the money he makes directly back into inner-city education programs in the city, (hence the Robin Hood comparison.)
For younger individuals, Building Bridges to Wealth gives them a glimpse of what college life would be like by bringing them to campus, and hopefully encouraging them to pursue higher education in their futures, said associate director of the program Stacy Franks to The Daily Pennsylvanian, the university’s news publication.
The Daily Pennsylvania recently featured the Building Bridges to Wealth program as a means to promoting a free course this Saturday, April 4 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Steinberg-Dietrich Hall, which will “cover everything one needs to know about finances and the economy [and] is open for people who have any questions or concerns about their financial situation. The class is completely free and anyone can walk in.”
Four years since its start, the program’s success has helped it spread across the state, the Daily Pennsylvania said.
Penn State University has expressed interest in getting involved with the initiative, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is looking to expand Building Bridges to Wealth into a statewide program.