Posted on March 1, 2023


Connecticut native and former NFL player Jordan Reed is passionate about teaching financial literacy in Connecticut high schools and offers his support

Knowing how to manage one’s finances is an essential part of life. Yet many young adults don’t know how credit works, how to balance their bank accounts, how student loans work, or how to resist impulse purchases. The best time to learn these types of things is before it is needed – when a student is in high school. But too many Connecticut high school students are not offered this type of class.

That’s why State Representative Corey Paris (D-Stamford) introduced financial literacy education legislation, which has bipartisan support, including several Republican co-sponsors.

“Financial literacy empowers marginalized communities and lays the foundation for building generational wealth, once unattainable to so many within Connecticut,” said Rep. Paris. “Financial literacy classes help narrow the opportunity gap between students who are well-prepared for future financial realities after high school and those who are left basically to fend for themselves. We have one chance to teach them this important life skill before they leave our high schools.”

State Representative Tom Delnicki (R-South Windsor), a co-sponsor of the bill, notes the importance of being able to manage finances.

“If we want young people to succeed in life, we have to make sure we give them the tools they need to thrive,” said Rep. Delnicki. “Financial literacy is key to living a successful life and if you know how to manage your finances, you’ll be able to manage your life.”

Connecticut ranked 21st for statewide financial education access in 2022, according to Next Gen Personal Finance, a non-profit provider of personal finance curriculum and professional development in the United States. Just15.3%of CT high schoolers are currently guaranteed to take a personal finance course of at least one semester before graduating. If Connecticut were to guarantee financial literacy classes to high school students, the state would become the 18th in the nation to do so.

The financial literacy topic piqued the interest of Connecticut native and former NFL player Jordan Reed, who sees an absolute value in it.

“I was fortunate to enjoy a great playing career after high school, but with that came difficult financial decisions and temptations,” said Reed. “Now as a father of three, it’s my sincere hope that my children will be taught and given the personal finance tools to make informed and responsible decisions for life after high school. I don’t just want this for my kids, though,” he said, “I want this for all of our kids.”

Barbara Angelicola-Manzolli teaches financial literacy classes at Lewis S. Mills High School in Burlington. She tells her students there are three things they need to worry about in life: their reputations, their money, and their credit scores. She added she also tells the students to sign up early for retirement savings once they start working.
“I will not retire until this is done,” Angelicola-Manzolli said, referring to passing legislation to guarantee financial literacy classes to students.

“If we can equip high school students with essential skills to prepare them for college, entering the workforce, pursuing a trade school or military service, should we not also put their hand on the tiller and show them how to make informed financial choices? We need to stop leaving their financial futures to chance,” said Bruce Adams, President and CEO of the Credit Union League of Connecticut (CULCT). “We must embrace the critical role financial literacy plays in their lives and combat the insidious injustice of failing to teach basic financial skills to those who need it the most. Their success benefits all of us down the road.”