Q&A With Microgrant Recipient Isaac


Karma for Cara Foundation microgrant recipients have competed in an application process alongside other young people who have spearheaded exceptional service projects that benefit their communities. In order to qualify for a K4C award, an applicant must be 18 years of age or younger, and the project must take place in the US.

Who? Isaac (18 years old)

What? Students Teaching Finance

Where? Greencastle IN


Economic inequality is a barrier to an inclusive society affecting everyone – crossing race, education, geography, and gender. The lack of financial education both at school (only 11 states require semester-long personal finance classes) and at home (over 70% of parents are hesitant to discuss finance with their children) contributes to economic inequality and a deficit of financial literacy knowledge.

Recognizing the dearth of youth financial literacy and its contributions to economic inequality, Students Teaching Finance (STF), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, was founded. STF educates youth, through a network of empowered high school-aged changemakers, to combat economic inequality by increasing financial literacy nationally. Financial education systemically eliminates barriers obstructing financial health, resulting in more equitable communities.

The Q&A

What inspired you to start this project?Growing up in a rural midwestern town with pervasive financial struggles and rife financial illiteracy–combined with my fervent interest in the topic–inspired me to teach K-8 youth to improve their futures and combat economic inequality.
While working on your project, what surprised you?The power of collaboration. By partnering with hundreds of volunteers, Students Teaching Finance has been able to vastly increase our lessons and education impact. People’s willingness to help the cause and contribute to our mission has been surprising and inspiring.
What do you feel you learned from this experience?Early in high school, I presumed that confronting economic inequality would be straightforward. But I was naïve; it’s easy to think something is easy when you do not know much about it. Now I more acutely understand the inherent challenges in countering economic inequality, leading me to an intellectual paradox: The more I learn, the more I realize how much I do not yet know. I recognize that Students Teaching Finance constitutes a patchwork solution to a systemic problem. Still, I understand too that meaningful change is vital, even if it’s small—a lesson I will carry with me.
Developing the initiative revealed to me countless nuances about personal finance in society. When I began teaching financial literacy, I siloed my instruction and investigation to investing, compound interest, and other financial topics. However, through fascinating discussions with experts, literature review, and hands-on experience teaching students, I now realize the interconnections linking financial literacy with various components of society, from race and politics to geography and gender. I learned a profound lesson: Nothing should be studied in a vacuum. Discussing, interrogating, and interweaving ideas reigns paramount to me because it centers underserved communities.
How did Karma for Cara impact your project?Karma for Cara impacted my project by imparting outside support and confidence that enabled the team to keep growing and pushing forward to impact others. Because the funds were flexibly applicable to items and services that enabled our growth, the K4C program supported our mission.
How will your project continue to impact others?The Students Teaching Finance curriculum is continuously being implemented by STF chapters nationwide. We will continue teaching youth, advocating for financial literacy education, and conducting and sharing efficacy research.