Mr. Collins wants to help others by creating a series of books that are not in a textbook format, making them more fun and enjoyable to learn from. His inspiration behind this project is to teach financial fundamentals.
For those who are not familiar, can you tell us a little bit about who you are?
I am a product of a single-family household. I grew up in the low-income areas of Atlanta, and all I saw around me was “struggle.” I was that one kid that said, “I want to get out of this situation, and I want to teach other people how to survive the struggle as well.” For me personally, I just think that there is a better way. I try to get out as much as possible to help make people financially aware and conscious. Back in 2009, I started a nonprofit organization, The Literacy for Youth Foundation, which teaches financial literacy. Unfortunately, I felt that I was only reaching the kids in my community and I felt that I had to do something to reach kids on a broader scale. So I prayed about it, and God gave me the answer, “how about writing a book, and publishing it so that it will be nationwide and you can reach more kids in that capacity as far as financial literacy.” So that is where Sally Saver came from.
What made you want to do your upcoming event, The Sally Saver Festival?
Now my next dilemma is that kids are not reading today. They are so into social media, video games, phones, tablets, and apps; they are not picking up a book to read anymore. So my next question was, “what can I do to get the word across?” Kids want to have fun, they want to play, and they don’t want to sit still long enough to read. So, I created a festival. A learning festival where I will let you participate in fun stuff like bouncy houses and games and all of the excitingnstuff, but you have to come and learn an element of financial literacy while you’re actually having fun! Therefore, instead of paying for tickets, you go to a financial literacy workshop that teaches you how to start a business, how credit works, or how banking works, and once you go through that workshop, you get a wristband that will now allow you to do all of the fun stuff. The Sally Saver Festival is actually an attempt to bring learning back through fun activities, and we are hoping that this will actually get kids excited about learning again. Learning shouldn’t be a chore. Kids go to school to learn because they have to go to school to learn. We want them to learn because they like it.
When and why is literacy, particularly financial literacy, so important to you?
A perfect example is what just happened with the government shut down. Just think of how many people were out of a job, who lost their cars, who lost their homes, and in total it was a really big crisis. Now, what if as kids someone would have sat down and talked to all of those people and taught them how savings work, or how to save money, how credit works, how to build a nest egg, and how to be financially literate and comfortable. Some of those people probably would have been in a slightly different situation. A perfect example of this is when I was in the mortgage industry back when it crashed between the years 2004 and 2007. I watched everybody around me lose almost everything, but because I had a financial literacy background, I was able to keep what I’d worked so hard to build and attain. So I completely understand, and I feel that financial literacy and education is very important because we never know when unfortunate events are going to happen again, when there is going to be another crisis, nor if there will be another market shut down, you never know! Everything is unpredictable, but if you’re educated, you’ll be prepared.
When attending the festival, what should attendees expect?
OMG! Music, fun, and a learning experience. They will get a chance to leave with a little bit of knowledge of how to start a business. We even want the adults to come and sit down and take the workshops with the kids. They will know how to market a business or how banking works, how online banking works, also an introduction to credit, and how credit scores work. I just want this experience to end where people say, “I went out, I had a great time, my kids played, we had fun, and as a family, we learned something that could potentially create generational wealth for us!”
How can we find more information about the Sally Saver Literacy Festival?
What would you like our readers to know?
The Sally Saver Series website is where adults can order both books; one teaches financial literacy savings and entrepreneurship called, “Sally Saver and the Treasures in Time,” and book two is called, “Sally Saver and the Egyptian Credit Caper,” where they can learn financial tools to help them with their future as well. Also, your readers can follow us on Facebook and Instagram.