Amy Lamparter
BGCA
404-487-5856
alamparter@bgca.org
Sarah Bulgatz
Charles Schwab
415-667-0328
sarah.bulgatz@schwab.com
Teen's Hip-Hop Song Wins Financial Ed-Themed Contest Sponsored by Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Charles Schwab Foundation

Winning Song, “Time Is Money,” Produced as a Music Video by Platinum Music Producer Kevin “Khao” Cates

SAN FRANCISCO, March 28, 2012 – Syretha Shirley of Boys & Girls Clubs of Las Vegas has won top honors in the Money Matters Music Mogul (M4) Contest, sponsored by Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) and Charles Schwab Foundation, for her song “Time is Money.” 

The contest was designed to tap the talent and creativity of teens across the U.S. to raise awareness of the importance of being smart about money, and to spread the word about the financial education program Money Matters: Make It CountSM  available through all 2,900 Boys & Girls Clubs that serve teens. In the call for entries, BGCA teens, ages 13-18, were invited to submit song lyrics that would reflect themes from the Money Matters curriculum and deliver a strong, positive message about financial fitness. The songs were performed using one of three background beats provided by Grammy-Award-Nominated music producer and founder of the Bridge DA Gap Movement Kevin “Khao” Cates. Each of the top five finalists will receive a $500 scholarship grant from Charles Schwab Foundation, and the winner received an all-expenses-paid trip to Atlanta to have her song professionally produced by Khao as a music video. The three-and-a-half-minute video is now available. 

“We’re always looking for fresh ways to motivate today’s youth to learn the basics of money management and to start making smart financial choices early on,” said Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, president of Charles Schwab Foundation. “Sometimes you need to think a little outside the box to make the topic interesting and relevant to kids, and, thanks to Khao, the contest has given us a great way to do that.” 

“When the folks at Charles Schwab Foundation and BGCA approached me to team up for this contest, I was already saying ‘yes’ before they finished asking,” said Khao. “Being smart about money is a core part of character-building for teens, which is what I’m most focused on through my work with Bridge DA Gap.” 

The contest’s call for entries was made on October 19, 2011, and the submission period concluded on December 8, 2011. More than 50 entries were submitted, and a total of 142,000 votes were cast on myclubmylife.com, BGCA’s website for teens, to select the winner. The final choice among the top five finalists was made by Khao.  

Syretha Shirley, a high school sophomore and member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Las Vegas who has overcome many personal challenges in her life, uses music and writing as creative outlets. She aspires to attend the University of Southern California and one day become a psychologist and published author. In addition to having completed the Money Matters program, Syretha is an active participant in multiple leadership programs at her Boys & Girls Club, including the Keystone Club, the Leader in Training group and the College Bound program.   

When Syretha heard about the M4 contest, she was excited to write about something that had potential to make a difference. “To have this experience is great, and I’m so shocked that it’s me who won! I want to make things better for others, and if I can do that through this contest, that’s all that matters,” she said. 

The other finalists in the M4 contest were: 

  • “I Got It” by Ken’nente L, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee (Wisconsin);
  • “Put It in the Bank” by David K. and Jamie S., Boys & Girls Club of Pawtucket (Rhode Island);
  • “Money, Power, Respect” by Noah G. and Markeist J., Boys & Girls Clubs of Broward County (Florida); and
  • “Nickels & Dimes” by William W., Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland (Ohio).

The Money Matters program has been instrumental in teaching Boys & Girls Club members the importance of financial literacy, and the contest has provided a unique and creative way for young people to talk about the subject,” said Jim Clark, president and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of America.  “Equipping young people with financial knowledge pays a myriad of dividends, including the development of skills needed to make important financial decisions as adults. 

About Money Matters: Make It Count
Funded by Charles Schwab Foundation, Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Money Matters program is designed to promote money management skills among teens, ages 13-18. The program consists of fun, interactive activities and exercises on topics such as using a checking account, managing debt, saving for college and learning the basics of investing. The program is targeted primarily at teens from underserved communities.  

Approximately 375,000 youth in over 1,700 teen Boys & Girls Clubs across the U.S. have participated in Money Matters since it launched in mid-2004. In addition, Charles Schwab Foundation has presented a cumulative total of $390,000 in scholarships to 187 Club teens who completed Money Matters and demonstrated exceptional financial skills from their newly acquired knowledge of personal finance.

About Boys & Girls Clubs of America
For more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (GreatFutures.org) has enabled young people most in need to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, nearly 4,000 Boys & Girls Clubs serve some 4 million children and teens through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in cities, towns, public housing and on Native American lands throughout the country, and serve military families in BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide. Clubs provide a safe place, caring adult mentors, fun and friendship, and high-impact youth development programs on a daily basis during critical non-school hours. Priority programs emphasize academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. In a Harris Survey of alumni, 57 percent said the Club saved their lives. National headquarters are located in Atlanta. Learn more at bgca.org/facebook and bgca.org/twitter. 

About Charles Schwab Foundation
Charles Schwab Foundation is a private, nonprofit organization funded by The Charles Schwab Corporation. Its mission is to create positive change through financial education, philanthropy, and volunteerism. More information is available at www.aboutschwab.com/community. The Charles Schwab Foundation is classified by the IRS as a charity under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Foundation is neither a part of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (member SIPC) nor its parent company, The Charles Schwab Corporation.   

About Bridge DA Gap 
Bridge DA Gap, founded by multi-platinum music producer Kevin “Khao” Cates, is an educational initiative that uses music to communicate with youth in a language they understand. Its components include a textbook, an accompanying musical CD, video and a curriculum designed to help youth navigate through many of today’s problems and challenges in order to build foundations, advance dreams and transform their lives through character-building principles. More information is available at http://www.bridgedagap.com/.

[Charles Schwab Foundation, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and Bridge DA Gap are unaffiliated entities.]

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