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Sarah commented on It’s a $pending Frenzy!

Thanks for your comment, we appreciate it! You certainly have a lot of questions. Regarding evaluation, I would be surprised if this one intervention alone would contribute to changes in GPA, college attainment, and employment, but you never know. We are more interested in short term changes such as increased knowledge and changes in financial behavior. We have conducted several small scale evaluations (see attached report) and are confident this workshop increases knowledge. We have not been able to secure funding to do a larger, longitudinal evaluation (maybe with a control group) but we would welcome the opportunity to do so! Such an evaluation would of course include pre and post tests and also follow up assessments 6 and 12 months after the simulation. Also, we would love to do a longitudinal evaluation looking at multiple outcomes beyond just knowledge and behavior. And we do like the idea of following up with students and possibly having the come back and talk to the next generation of students, although have to be careful when working with minors under the age of 18 (not easy to collect contact info). After every workshop we do have a debrief session, and also ask all students to fill out evaluation forms, and this has helped with program refinement based on student feedback.

Thanks for your ideas about potential partners. We work closely with several partners, including a credit union that has adopted our model and uses it with high schools in Indian Country in New Mexico. We also partner with several high schools and one high school media class even helped us make our marketing video (see We work closely with the Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians (at the U.S. Dept. of the Interior) which has offices on many reservations. In addition, we work with local Native community development financial institutions (we just presented at a Native Youth Empowerment conference in partnership with Tewa Lending and the Pueblo of Isleta) and summer tribal youth employment programs (or college readiness programs). We have partnered with a few tribal colleges to offer the workshop as well. We agree that working with several strategic partners is helpful for reaching our target market, achieving program goals, and program refinement.

Regarding the unique issues in Indian Country, we include tribal dividend payments as part of the revenue stream for the $pending frenzy, and our “fickle finger of fate” cards address issues like family members asking for money, spending money on ceremonies, and tribal employment opportunities. We try to create scenarios (including “fickle finger of fate” cards, which are unexpected expenses) that are relatable for Native high school and college students and reflect their lived experience.

I like this idea a lot and it is a great idea to partner with the faith community to provide tools and training for financial empowerment. The SFE&PD is a great partnership for getting the message out. It sounds like there are still a lot of ideas related to developing the software, the program, and the dissemination plan to get this launched. But I love the idea of of using behavioral economics and financial coaching to help empower people to to change their mindset and behavior in relation to money.

I love this project! It is very specific, has immediate positive financial impact on people's lives, and recognizes an opportunity in the employment market and responds to it. Their effort is innovative and unique in that it "ties financial counseling with an immediate vocational goal and creates a tiered career pathway." This is a very promising model, and they already have outcome data. The only thing I would like to learn more about is their financial education and financial coaching approach and how this can be used to empower the clients.