Teens to host lunch and learn Saturday

Leslie D. Rose @DvilleNewsie
Kevin L. Richard will speak to the youth about the importance of financial literacy.

The Donaldsonville Mayor's Youth Advisory Council is sponsoring a teen lunch and learn meeting on Saturday, June 11 at City Hall, 609 Railroad Ave., from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Topics that will be covered include financial literacy and overcoming obstacles by guest speakers Kevin L. Richard and Daniel Tapia.

Event chairpersons are Lawrence Brown, III and Tamiko Stroud. Stroud said the main point of the event is to educate teenagers on financial literacy and to address hardships that they may face.

"It's just a good informative process that will cover things like how to balance a checkbook, which is a skill needed for many college students," Stroud said. "It's really just to educate the younger kids on financial literacy and how to overcome obstacles. The men - Tapia and Richard - are grown men who have experience on these topics."

Daniel Tapia will share his life testimony as a teenager growing up in New Orleans, where he fell victim to the streets and was lost.

"I want to share my background and some of the things that I've had to overcome - just try to give them a little glimpse of reality," Tapia said. "No matter how many plans you make for your life, something is going to go wrong, and you're going to have to improvise, you're going to have to push and fight."

Tapia said he was considered poor and fast money enticed him, but that his life changed when he was convicted of second-degree murder - a crime he said he did not commit.

"I just want to give them hope and let them know that when when things do go wrong or different than planned, it doesn't mean that you're going to fail," Tapia said. "A man may make a plan, but God orders his steps."

Tapia said he hopes that there are a lot of young men in attendance at the event as he wants to share his message specifically with them.

"My goal is that they understand where I'm coming from, even if they don't necessarily grasp it or understand, they'll remember me like I remember this guy who came and spoke with me," Tapia said. "They can draw on my experiences - maybe they won't learn from my mistakes, but they can see that I still came out alright, and they can still come out alright."

Kevin L. Richard is the finance manager for the Office of Police Secondary Employment in New Orleans. Earlier this year, he started a non-profit organization, LIFE, Literacy Initiative for Financial Education. The organization focuses on educating underserved individuals and communities on matters of finance, teaching sound financial principals and habits that promote financial stability and growth.

Richard will speak to the youth about the importance of financial literacy.

Stroud said that the football teams from Ascension Catholic and Donaldsonville High Schools are being specifically invited, as many of the players have expressed interest in becoming professional athletes and may require the educational tools.