Hometown: San Diego, California
My name is Jack Sutton, and my life's journey has been an exploration of experiences and a commitment to personal growth and community betterment. While I was born in the city of Los Angeles, California, my formative years found their foundation in the close-knit embrace of an Italian family residing in the northern LA suburb of Thousand Oaks. Growing up amidst a family of over 50 relatives, I developed a profound sense of community and a passionate drive to actively engage in various aspects of life.
In middle school, my family moved three hours south to San Diego, where I took an interest in hobbies like surfing, hiking, and even snowboarding during the winter. During high school, I found my interest in personal finance and financial literacy through my curriculum and economics classes. During my senior year, I was able to serve as president of my school’s finance club and develop my finance skills. This role allowed me to share and explore my passion for financial literacy with my peers and spark a commitment to helping others.
As I made my way into college, my interest in finance continued to grow, eventually leading me to an opportunity where I could blend financial education and serving others through the Dialogue Project. Today, I am dedicated to promoting financial literacy and assisting others in achieving their financial goals, drawing inspiration from my roots in Thousand Oaks and the diverse experiences of my upbringing.
Summary of Your New Ideas proposal:
The proposal outlines the creation of the financial literacy curriculum under a nonprofit organization, aimed at equipping high school students with essential financial decision-making skills and knowledge. The proposal emphasizes the growing deficit in financial literacy worldwide and its adverse consequences on individuals' lives, such as low credit scores, housing foreclosures, and bankruptcy.
This curriculum addresses this issue by providing a comprehensive curriculum covering topics like financial products, budgeting, saving, investing, credit and debt management, and more. The program employs interactive lectures, group activities, and real-world case studies to engage students and make the material relevant. My nonprofit outlined a plan to offer its curriculum to a diverse range of students, including those in inner-city schools through cost subsidies.
The proposal targets high school students, particularly juniors and seniors with business-related interests, and highlights the importance of early financial literacy education. The budget outlines costs and revenue sources, with scholarships and subsidies to make the program accessible.
What does the New Ideas Competition mean to you?
The New Ideas Competition represented an opportunity to try something new and explore a passion that had always ignited my interest, which in my case was personal finance. This competition gave me the confidence to continually embrace my passion of financial literacy, while having an impact on my community. Since this competition, I have had the privilege to engage with city officials, forge valuable contacts, and collaborate with peers to incorporate this program in my community. It was an enriching experience that propelled my passion for personal finance into a tangible initiative that had the potential to bring about positive change on a larger scale.
Advice for new applicants:
For those considering applying, I strongly advise selecting an idea that not only captures your attention but also aligns with your genuine passion. In my case, I have always had a passion about teaching myself personal finance and financial literacy. Throughout the submission period last year, I was excited every opportunity that I had to develop my business plan for the New Ideas Competition. It provided a unique platform to delve deeper into a subject matter I had long been passionate about exploring.
So, if you are considering participating in the New Ideas Competition, I strongly recommend choosing an idea that genuinely excites you. Ultimately, embrace the opportunity to turn your passion into a compelling project that will reduce polarization in our current society.