Special promotional content provided by Boys and Girls Club of Dane County
NFL Miami Dolphins (and former Wisconsin Badger) fullback Alec Ingold brought his passion for personal finance and football to Madison, hosting his “Money Mini Camp” for youth. It was the second time Ingold brought the two-day immersive experience to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Dane County. The program aims to enhance financial literacy and professional development while addressing the wage gap prevalent in America today.
Money Mini Camp, which took place at the new McKenzie Workforce Development Center July 12 and 13, is Alec Ingold’s personal endeavor to reduce the wage gap in America by equipping young individuals with essential financial life skills and career development opportunities.
During the camp, over 30 participants from high schools around the Madison area delved into the world of financial literacy through engaging workshops and interactive sessions led by UW Athletics, Summit Credit Union, and Park Bank professionals. Students gained valuable insights into managing personal finances, understanding investment strategies, and developing effective budgeting techniques, as well as other career-focused skills like personal branding and public speaking.
During a break on the second day of the program, Ingold told Blueprint365 that “having someone believe in them” is as important as anything the young people learned. “I think they’re amazing. I think that the contributions they made, getting out of their comfort zones, have been good,” he added.
“I’ve never been taught about credit scores,” said Verona High School student Anthony Diaz. “I’ve just seen the commercials for (companies like) Rocket Mortgage. This actually gave me a lesson on what it is, how it can affect your actual life, rather than just (being) a number that other people see.”
Madison West student Eric Cruz Delgado echoed that sentiment.
“What I’ve learned over the past couple days is also just about credit scores, and how people can take money from you,” he said. “How banks can basically scam you. They’re good at it so you just gotta watch out.”
“What I learned is how to be safe and responsible with your money and not just spend it on everything you see, about how to budget and keep it safe,” said Verona student Miguel Zapata.
Hosting the Mini Money Camp with the Boys and Girls Club, which Ingold has committed to do annually, is part of the organization’s strategy to prepare young people for successful careers, said John McKenzie, the principal donor who purchased and donated the building that is now the McKenzie Regional Workforce Center.
The building will house programs to train young people in the skilled trades so they can find jobs that pay family-supporting wages, but also help them manage that money for the long term and even start their own businesses with the skills they learn.
“If we’re going to really go after this racial wealth gap, and gender wealth gap, the way to do it is to help to teach these kids how to save and invest money, how to budget your money, how to think long term,” McKenzie said. “We’ll get these kids to understand they can share any American dream, and that’s going to make such a difference in their lives, but it also makes a difference in the community.”
The Mini Money Camp took place days before the McKenzie Regional Workforce Center officially opened on July 15.
“It felt good that the first event at the new building wasn’t our fundraiser, but a money camp for kids,” BGCDC President & CEO, Michael Johnson said.