Financial Literacy Goes Virtual

By Alice Avanian posted 07-27-2020 16:48


CFA Society Boston’s Financial Literacy Initiative is the largest among CFA societies nationally. We strike alliances with non-profit groups or employers, leveraging their reach to access a wide variety of audiences, from late high school onward. Thanks to our many volunteers, we've had a tremendous impact on the local community over our past 7 years.

Now, Financial Literacy is needed more than ever. The health crisis has become a financial crisis for many people, especially in underprivileged communities. With a new urgency to look at inequities in wealth and income, better Financial Literacy is one tangible step CFA’s can take to help close the gap.

In the "new normal", CFA Boston’s Financial Literacy Initiative has moved virtual. We’ve hosted many successful presentations on video conference. Our audiences were engaged and asked many questions via chat.

Recent examples:

  • May – Year Up – Budgeting & Careers. Year Up is a one-year, intensive training program for low-income young adults, ages 18-24.
  • June – ICA Teens – Budgeting & Credit. ICA Teens supplies Boston’s youth with the tools to voice themselves in the contemporary world of art.
  • July – Tenacity – Budgeting. Tenacity programs meet a critical need for positive, enriching after-school, in-school and summer programs for Boston youth. 
  • July – Harvard Medical School – Life Skills – 11th grade inner-city high schoolers.

And we have presentations upcoming for new alliances: Liberty Mutual Interns (inner-city high school students); and Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston. We welcome suggestions from CFA Society Boston members for other non-profit organizations or employers we can work with. To make a recommendation please email

We would like to give a special thanks to our Alliance Leaders: Steve Gaudette (Year Up), Will Krause/ Jared Shulman (ICA Teens), Firoza Panthaki (Tenacity), Suzanne Norman (HMS), Stephanie Torski (Liberty Mutual), and Dan Lynch (Boys & Girls Clubs).

We’ve also expanded our reach via social media. Our Financial Literacy Initiative was highlighted in a recent WBUR interview, "Tips from a Local CFA on How to make a Budget During this Recession?".

Longtime volunteer Ariel Babcock worked with Junior Achievement on their first webinar, “Why is the stock market up when the economy is down?”

We plan to expand our relationship with Junior Achievement New England (JA) beyond the recent joint efforts at Kipp Academy Lynn and Cathedral High School. This effort will expand our reach in high schools. JA materials are very interactive, featuring videos and activities that are ideally suited for high schoolers. We’re planning a “lunch and learn” with them for early fall.

CFA Society Boston is proud to work with CFA Institute’s working group on Financial Literacy. CFA Institute is expanding its commitment to FinLit and we’re among several leading societies helping it develop a FinLit strategy.

CFA Society Boston volunteers also worked with CFA Institute on two guides during these turbulent times which were highlighted in a recent Connexions article, "How to help build financial resiliency in uncertain times".

We’ll be holding another virtual session with Alliance Leaders this summer to brainstorm and strategize Financial Literacy in the “new normal”. All ideas are welcome as we continue our mission.

If you’d like to join Financial Literacy volunteers in benefiting the general public, sign up via this link if you haven't already. That way, you can stay on our email list & hear about the latest updates & volunteer opportunities.