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Incoming Harvard freshman from Kansas spends summer developing personal finance curriculum

Katie Murphy
Posted at 3:49 PM, Jun 27, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The World Economic Forum said in 2024, financial literacy in the U.S. is just below 50 percent.

It’s remained around the 50 percent mark for the last eight years.

Pathway Financial Education, located near 18th and Vine in Kansas City, works to increase financial literacy each and every day.

LaTasha Jacobs, the nonprofit’s executive director, said school districts across the Kansas City area have reached out to Pathway for their expertise.

LaTasha Jacobs
LaTasha Jacobs

"I think that a lot of them have teachers and instructors, but they don’t have a background in finances," Jacobs said. “They don’t have a background in understanding how to manage their day to day, or their household income, let alone to teach someone else who is new or green to the information."

A local student is hoping to fill the gap of personal finance education through her internship with Harvard this summer.

Katie Murphy is a writer, scholar and athlete. She said she wanted to focus on youth education through the Harvard SPARK program before leaving town.

Katie Murphy
Katie Murphy

Murphy will develop a personal finance curriculum for students in the Show-Me state.

Having taken a similar class in Kansas just a few years ago, she’s looking for ways to meet state standards and engage students.

“We are planning to add some activities and try to make it more personalized to Kansas City teens,” she said.

Murphy said she hopes to stay involved in education after receiving her degree in applied mathematics and economics, but doesn’t have concrete plans just yet.