The New Curriculum for Inner-City Youth: Inbound Marketing and Financial Management

“The lawyer with the briefcase can steal more money than the man with the gun.”
― Mario Puzo, The Godfather

So, do you remember the old song that goes like this,

“School days, school days 
Dear old Golden Rule days 
'Reading and 'riting and 'rithmetic 
Taught to the tune of the hick'ry stick 
You were my queen in calico 
I was your bashful, barefoot beau 
You wrote on my slate, "I Love You Joe" 
When we were a couple o' kids.

Nope, you NEVER heard the previous tune because it was both pre-google and internet.  In fact, it was a time in history where students actually, needed to use their brain to conceptualize information and implement it in an operational manner to achieve an objective.  In otherwords in the old days, people engaged in critical thinking to problem solve.  Yes, they used the old gray-matter between their ears unlike today, where everything is one google keystroke away.

Now, back to the topic which deals with Inbound Marketing and Financial Management being or should primary courses for inner-city youths (Yes, Black, Puerto-Rican, Asian, Caucasian or just plain poor people).  Yes, I didn’t include computer science because education is like justice in the United States of America, “you get as much as you can afford”.  Yes, education is a function of your financial portfolio and zip code; therefore, people living in “90210” have access to a superior education than those living in “05501”.  Nothing like property taxes to fund your child’s education but, when the property that surrounds your neighborhood is so de-valued that refugees from Syria want to return to their war-torn land then, you know your children receive an education that reflects the free-market value of the area that they call home…. true, not good.

Alright, computers are expensive and the software will be one or two previous editions because the school budget cannot handle Microsoft 10 nor any new editions of software that puts them in the red.  Besides, let’s hope the parents of these children will have the foresight to have purchased a family computer and some semblance of education is also, occurring in the home to help rescue the children from academic annihilation, academic apartheid and generational bastard baby-making.  Educating kids in the inner-city is a challenge and requires unique solutions.

Now, let’s get to work and start with Inbound Marketing as a primary course to provide inner-city children an even playing field to achieve both academic and professional success.  Inbound Marketing provides multiple components (entrepreneurship, marketing and self -development) that will enhance the ability of the generational poor to improve their quality of life.  Let’s remember that “Inbound Marketing refers to activities (blogs, podcasts, eBooks, SEO, physical products, newsletters, whitepapers, social medial marketing and other forms of content marketing) that bring visitors in, rather than marketers having to go out to get prospects' attention”.  “Inbound marketing earns the attention of customers”.  It’s about becoming an Inbound Marketing Specialist, while providing solutions to problems.  Yes, people will pay top dollar to experts who will solve their issue and relieve their stress.

Now, what’s so special about becoming an Inbound Marketing Specialist (IMS)?  Firstly, the salary is decent starting from $45K -60K depending on experience and hiring agency.  In addition, being an IMS you function in the capacity as a behavioral analyst for businesses as indicated by studying market trends and developing “buyer persona” profiles for corporations, who offer products/services that have value and solve problems for their desired target market.       

The late business philosopher Jim Rohn, famously said, “you get paid for the value you bring to the marketplace and not the time you spend in it”.  In other words, “make yourself more valuable to the marketplace” and you do that by working harder on yourself than you do working on the job”.  “This is why personal development plays a vital role in your success as indicated by the fact, it is a lifelong process. It's a way for people to assess their skills and qualities, consider their aims in life and set goals in order to realize and maximize their potential”.  In life you are on a timeline to accomplish certain goals and tasks; otherwise, you are guilty of a wasted life.  Nothing to be proud of nor brag about.  So, do you see the potential benefit of incorporating inbound marketing as a solution to reducing poverty?

On to Financial Management, which is of the utmost urgency for all Americans but, especially for those in the lower socioeconomic status because, money management is rarely taught in homes nor schools and wealth development is a generational game.  So, the reality remains that most Americans struggle with understanding money because it’s a science that is always evolving and requires constant practice to understand the mechanics.  Like Inbound Marketing learning financial management or more accurately, financial literacy is an essential component of the developmental process of adolescents and young adults, who have increasing access to significant disposable income.  In addition, they increasingly making financial transactions (car payments, cellphone bills, credit cards and other bills) that require knowledge of budgeting and compound interest; however, the profits generated by credit card companies suggest financial ignorance is very profitable for financial institutions and corporations.   

For inner-city kids Money is not only Power but, it also brings fame and respect among their peers.  However, knowledge is also power but, financial knowledge remains marginally respected because it’s viewed as belonging to only the wealthy elite and not average folks.  Well, attitudes and mindsets change because with the explosion of ecommerce thanks to the Internet and constantly evolving software technology financial literacy becomes a critical factor to many of life major decisions.  If, you reside in Westernized country then, you live in a capitalist society where financial knowledge is commensurate to oxygen.  High profile and economic problems such as: foreclosure crisis, recession of 2008, devaluing of homes in poor zip codes, devaluing of retirement plans (401K) for Non-Whites, absentee fathers and loss of business in high crimes areas, all are testament to why America’s youth are ranked at 14th in the World in being financially illiterate.  If, you don’t understand how many works then, you’re bound to lose it.

So, today’s millennial (teenagers) “are currently 80 million of the U.S., population and with an annual buying power of 200 billion, they are the most lucrative segment of the us market”; however, being computer savvy and with other technological mobile devices isn’t enough because like any business it comes down to dollars and cents.  In essence, the lack of financial knowledge in today’s youth is an indictment of the lack of investment for the future, which is why inner-city children urgently need to learn about the science of money because opportunities in the hood are limited compared to the suburbs.  Yes, access to opportunity comes at a premium.

I might suggest an alternative to pricy online courses or universities/colleges that teach financial literacy and recommend The Black Wealth Bootcamp taught by Ph.D., Professor of Finance Dr. Boyce Watkins.  Additionally, there are many free online courses that help educate not only youths but also, adults about the science of money.  Face it, we’re in a digitized global economy and the learning curve has increased which makes knowledge that much more valuable.  Clearly, nobody wants to be left behind and those who can least afford a fancy education are most at risk.

In closing, my recommendations (Inbound Marketing and Financial Management) are not guarantees of solving the collateral social problems often associated with inner-city kids; however, it’s an attempt to reduce/prevent the problem from expanding generationally.   

“Financial literacy is not an end in itself, but a step-by-step process.  It begins in childhood and continues throughout a person’s life all the way to retirement.  Instilling the financial literacy message in children is especially important, because they will carry it for the rest of their lives”. …George Carl.  

Vaurn James

Contributor