My first introduction to Kids Wealth International Club was at the Kids Matter Job fair in March 2012. I was 15 and I had decided that it was time to try and dip my toe into the real world. A few minutes into walking around with no real interest in anything, a big purple banner caught my eye. It said, “Kids Wealth International Club”. I thought to myself, “I like kids. I like being rich. Clubs are fun too, I guess. And… Traveling?” So I went to go see what it was about. There, I got the basic overview: Kids Wealth International Club is a company that teaches children and young adults how to handle and grow their money safely and effectively. It sounded like a great idea, so I put my name on the contact list and walked away. As I rotated through the different booths, I found that nothing roused my curiosity as much as Kids Wealth International Club, so I went back to the booth. That was when I got to meet Melanie Jane Nicolas. My first impression of her was that she knew what she was doing with her life. This was a woman who had figured out what she loved doing and had found a way to do it. As I continued talking to her, my first impression solidified. I went home that day not really sure about getting a job, and I soon forgot about it.

 

A couple weeks later, I got an email from Kids Wealth International Club for a group job interview. I got really excited about it but I was doubtful that I had much of a chance. When I got there, I met some of the other prospective employees and I was downright intimidated. Here was a group of high schoolers much older than my freshman self. When Melanie started talking about what they did as a company, I was fascinated and put aside my misgivings. By the end of the interview, I knew that I really wanted to be a part of this organization that prepared kids and teens for an inevitable future filled with bills, taxes, money and mortgages: things that are never covered in school. That day, Melanie left us with the option of coming in as a volunteer for one of her Mini Camps.

 

The Mini Camp was on a Tuesday evening and had a combination of parents and kids. I was the only volunteer who had come, and I was so glad that I did; I did not know most of the things that the elementary school kids were learning. I got to reward them for their answers and join in on some of their games. While it was a great experience working with the kids, more importantly, it was an eye opener as I realized that I had a gaping hole in my education. This hole was probably the worst hole I could have because it wasn’t just some complex calculus I would probably never do; it was a hole in how to survive in the real world. I am not the only one with this hole either; most of my high school friends do not know how to manage their money or pay bills or invest.

 

While I did not know this then, the Mini Camp was my gateway to a permanent position with Kids Wealth International Club. Melanie told me later that my willingness to show up and take initiative in my life was what had made the decision to hire me. This made me aware of the power of our choices and how easy it is to miss out on opportunities if we do not follow through and pursue our interests.

 

Today, I have been working with Kids Wealth International Club for a little over a year. I help with the camps, teaching and learning essential life lessons. Already, at 16 years old, I have learned more than my numerous mistakes would have taught me if I had stumbled along after college. Hopefully it prevents my mistakes as well.

 

~Devashri

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World of Wealth Mini-Camp
April 29 - 1pm to 4:00pm, Ages 8-14

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