Headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, the Society for Financial Education and Professional Development (SFEPD)was established in 1998. A brainchild of Theodore ‘Ted’ Daniels, SFEPD was one of the first nonprofits to deliver customized financial literacy programs and professional development opportunities for people in communities nationwide. Since 2017, SFEPD has hosted a Student Ambassador Program to train college students to teach their peers about financial education. The program targets students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) many of whom are first-generation, to help them manage their finances better and build wealth. Currently, SFEPD has Student Ambassador Programs at 35 colleges and universities throughout the nation.
SFEPD trains Student Ambassadors in personal finance concepts to enable them to lead and teach engaging classes to fellow students. Moreover, HBCU business school professors and SFEPD’s financial educators, mentor the ambassadors and help them to create innovative workshops and presentations. In this way, the students develop leadership skills and act as champions of financial literacy on their college campuses. At Livingstone College, associate professor of Accounting and Business in the Bishop George E. Battle, Jr., School of Business, Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Technology, Dr. Terrence Simon serves as the campus advisor of approximately ten student ambassadors.
As part of the program, student ambassadors are offered the opportunity to obtain points in efforts to earn a financial scholarship. Livingstone’s ambassadors coordinated educational events, taught financial classes, and developed programs to reach their peers. Sessions regarding saving, investing, banking, budgeting, credit, debt, student loan management, and financial goal setting have all been a part of Livingstone College’s programming. Through this unique learning initiative, Livingstone’s students gain financial knowledge and skills that provide them with a foundation for economic success, and the student ambassadors demonstrate leadership success.
As a result, Honors scholar Ellis Dogbe-Gakpetor of Accra Ghana is the SFEPD fall 2023 Top Ambassador of all competing institutions. Gakpetor stated, “My primary goal is to gain a greater understanding and become more literate in financial undertakings in an effort to help increase fair and impartial economic opportunities throughout the mosaic world.”
Dogbe-Gakpetor is a freshman double-majoring in business and computer information systems. Other notable members of the campus ambassador program include Denayih Coleman, Ar'Jah'Naye Spivey, Emile Dogbe-Gakpetor, Paul Tako, and Sila Tako.
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