Educator Spotlight: Jayne Black Reaches Women with Financial Literacy Message through Conference Networks, Blogs & Media
Six years ago Jayne Black received an important wake-up call. Her mother, who had just reached her retirement years, found herself jobless, in poor health and foreclosure. This tragedy alerted Jayne to her own lack of financial knowledge and the problems our world faces due to the financial illiteracy epidemic. Now Black wants to leave a different legacy to her children. “I believe one of the greatest gifts we can give to our children is good money skills,” she says. “In turn they can pass those money skills down to their children.”
Black founded Saving Smart for 5 Generations as a building block toward creating a financially literate world. Today she teaches financial education with special focus on reaching women by speaking at conferences, doing radio shows, and writing for blogs and magazines. Jayne provided the impetus and the National Financial Educators Council (NFEC) provided resources to support Jayne’s successful programs. “I started using the resources the NFEC provides to women and families,” Black states. “I use parts of the curriculum when I speak, and I have them on my website so other people can readily find them.”
Although Black currently serves people of all ages and income levels, her primary passion is to help women. She started by sharing her own story, motivated by a desire to help women avoid the financial pitfalls that led to her mother’s problems. Then she was asked to be a guest on the Money Wi$e Women radio show, and began being invited to speak at women’s conferences about financial topics.
Helping women place top priority on learning good money skills was a major challenge Black encountered. The NFEC became an important partner to her efforts, providing high-impact financial literacy curriculum and resources. “When I first started speaking 6 years ago, women were hesitant to speak about their finances,” says Black. “After the economy tanked and so many more people were out of a job it became more acceptable to speak about their financial lives. The NFEC has played a huge role in helping me to help others.”
In addition to the NFEC, several high-visibility partners have contributed to the success of Black’s programs, including 1st National Bank of Wisconsin, Asset Builders of America, Money Smart Women Conference, Money Wi$e Women, Women in Banking, and Mount Mary College. She also worked with the American Heart Association, focusing on the effects of financial stress on one’s heart and physical wellbeing. “The response has been highly positive, with people making real changes in their financial lives,” Jayne mentions.
Jayne’s efforts today take her around the country speaking at women’s conferences, colleges, and on radio shows. She writes for five separate blogs and magazines. The social media, including Facebook and Twitter, provide Black with important avenues for promoting events and appearances. She has established a website, www.jayneblack.com, to offer financial education resources and curriculum to individuals and families.
Black has a short-term goal of traveling as much as possible to support financial education events as a speaker and teacher. She seeks to build awareness about the need for financial education and the role parents can play by teaching their children strong money skills. For the long term, she hopes to achieve her mission of breaking the generational cycle of global financial illiteracy.
The primary advice Jayne has to share with others is to never lose sight of their passion. More people are needed to work on spreading financial literacy, and the NFEC has valuable resources and tools to support their efforts.