American RadioWorks |
Michael Walker with students in Minneapolis (photo: @MPS_BlackMales Twitter account)

Boosting Black Male Student Achievement

The Minneapolis Public School District created an Office of Black Male Student Achievement earlier this year. One goal of the office is to help young African American men graduate from high school in greater numbers.

Recent Posts

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    Free Community College for All

    President Barack Obama wants to make the first two years of community college free for what he calls “responsible students” who are “willing to work for it.” It’s being called “America’s College Promise.” This week on the podcast we examine the prospect of free community college for all.
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    The achievement gap refers to the disparities in academic success between lower-income students of color and their more affluent white counterparts. But according to Quyen Dinh, executive director of the national advocacy organization Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC), one group often left out of the conversation is Southeast Asian American students.
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in collaboration with Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity

Allow people on government assistance to build assets

File under: personalfinance

5 (2 votes)

From: Jo Ann T., St. Paul, MN

Many who are experiencing poverty are excluded from being able to build assets, such as savings accounts, vehicles, burial plots, life insurance policies, stocks and bonds. Those who rely on government assistance in the form of medical assistance, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP), food stamps, Social Security or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) are not allowed to build any type of nest egg for themselves. If a participant in any of these programs has an asset over the amount allowed, they must first "spend it down," in other words, sell it and live off the money before they can become eligible for the program.

I train low-income community members in becoming leaders in the community, so that they can become change agents in the area of poverty. In a recent class that I was teaching, we discussed building a small nest egg while on Social Security Disability. My students' idea was to allow people to save two times their monthly grant per year. So someone who receives $500 per month could save up to $1000 per year. They could continue to build on this each year, but never exceed more than an additional $1000 per year. My students said the would use these savings to make car repairs or even pay their utility bills after a cold winter.


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American RadioWorks |
Michael Walker with students in Minneapolis (photo: @MPS_BlackMales Twitter account)

Boosting Black Male Student Achievement

The Minneapolis Public School District created an Office of Black Male Student Achievement earlier this year. One goal of the office is to help young African American men graduate from high school in greater numbers.

Recent Posts

  • 01.22.15

    Free Community College for All

    President Barack Obama wants to make the first two years of community college free for what he calls “responsible students” who are “willing to work for it.” It’s being called “America’s College Promise.” This week on the podcast we examine the prospect of free community college for all.
  • 01.14.15

    What’s in a number?

    Our guest this week has a message for high school seniors and their parents who are poring over the latest college rankings lists: Put ‘em down.
  • 12.23.14

    Who’s missing from the achievement gap debate?

    The achievement gap refers to the disparities in academic success between lower-income students of color and their more affluent white counterparts. But according to Quyen Dinh, executive director of the national advocacy organization Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC), one group often left out of the conversation is Southeast Asian American students.
  • 01.05.15

    Following the Money in Education Philanthropy

    Philanthropic foundations have been giving money to public education for years. But our guest this week argues that philanthropies are increasingly pushing specific educational agendas.