I am not a quick start, I am a fact finder. Why lead with this? I promise there is a better announcement, keep reading.
Watching the recent unrest across this country was heartbreaking for many reasons. Truthfully, it got downright scary in Philly for a few nights. Scary enough for me to have a weapon beside my bed in case I had to protect my family. We heard sirens most hours for a few days straight. I had to explain to my 2.5-year-old why there were windows shattered and smoldering fires near his favorite bagel shop on a Sunday morning walk.
Yes, I was worried and angry.
I don’t like to talk about who or what is right or wrong, politics, media, or any of that nonsense. Because frankly, the truth always lies somewhere in the middle, and if you trust any media as your primary source “facts,” good luck. So as any good “Fact Finder 8,” would do, I sat down to comprehend, learn, research, and decide what I wanted to do based on my understanding, values, and beliefs.
It truly felt like no matter what I would say or do, someone will not be appeased. So maybe it was “easier” to do nothing and hang low? Sure, that was an option. Or do you see more significant issues and want to make your little difference in the world? I chose the latter; I am doing what I feel is best and what is in my heart. More to come on that later, stay tuned.
My background on race in the world:
Am I part of the problem? I say it out loud and mean it; it is an honest question to myself. I am a white male who grew up with not many worries in the world, certainly no concerns based on my race. And while there is not a racist bone in my body, I started to wonder if my silence makes me responsible in some capacity? I don’t know, nor am I smart enough to know the right and wrong with such a complex question. But it felt like I could do better.
I never saw racism growing up as a child. Sure, I knew it was there in the world, but I assumed it did not exist where I lived. To me, there was no such thing as “color.” That sounds naive, so let me add some context. My first childhood home was in downtown Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. We were one of the few white families, according to my parents. My first childhood friend (“girlfriend” as my Dad said) was a black girl. My Dad and Morris would play bubble hockey (it was the legit Super Chexx bubble hockey) on the front porch, while Keisha and I played.
Even a little bit later in life (I was still under the age of 12), my Dad played on an all-black baseball team in downtown Harrisburg (technically, my Dad and one other guy were white, but you get it). I was the little annoying kid (aka the bat boy) bothering all these guys. This league was the real deal; Al Chambers, who was the first pick overall in the 1979 MLB June Amateur Draft, was on my Dad’s team. His nickname was Choo Choo and he was the nicest guy. Truthfully at that age, I looked at him like a superhero. But the best part was I was hanging out every weekend with a superhero on an old baseball diamond is downtown Harrisburg. For those of you that know my Dad, he is one of a kind. I probably don’t say it enough today, but damn, I love that guy. And as I get older and raise my own family, I hope I am as cool as my Dad was for me growing up. He taught me from day 1 to love equally. We are all in this together, or better said, we are on the same team.
I had a story here, and the section was called “Let me tell you about the time when I realized (or finally saw) what racism was,” where I shared a horrible story about when I saw racism. I deiced to forgo that story. I am not going to add the “I know a guy” story. I am here to make a small step in the right direction. There is a problem, and this is our step toward a better tomorrow.
I don’t care what color you are because I never saw color. I was taught that way, the same way I will teach my boys. The same reason why I am proud to raise my boys in a diverse city. I love equally, my family loves equally, and my firm loves equally.
So with all that said, how the heck can I change any of this? As I sat there and thought, it finally clicked, I am going to create a scholarship for a Black college student who is a Junior or Senior enrolled in a financial planning major/minor at a few select schools. First and foremost, there is a problem, which is why I choose to support the Black community. Secondly, I believe in my profession for so many reasons. I want to continue to grow this profession and help others enjoy the same things I enjoy every day. Lastly, I believe in financial literacy. If I can help support one Black financial planner, how many more lives does that impact and help? It is the compound interest effect, and it is a beautiful thing. Without further ado, I present to you The WealthKeel Scholarship Fund.
The WealthKeel Scholarship Fund for a Black Student in a Financial Planning Major or Minor
Description + Requirements:
- A scholarship for a Black student who is a Junior or Senior at one of the following schools majoring or minoring in Financial Planning:
- Temple University; Financial Planning Major
- University of Delaware; Financial Planning Major
- Delaware State University; Financial Planning Minor
- Penn State Erie, The Behrend College; Financial Planning Certificate Program
*I limited it to those four schools based on their geographic location to me and my alma mater. If this idea has great success, I hope to expand in future years.
- WealthKeel will make a $2,000 contribution to the scholarship fund, which will be provided at the start of the Fall semester (late August).
- These funds will be separate from the Go Fund Me campaign noted below.
- In addition, we have established a Go Fund Me page thanks to Tyrone Ross Jr.’s recommendation and 100% of the proceeds will also go to the winner: Click Here
- The funds will also be distributed at the start of the Fall semester (late August).
- The Go Fund Me page is for other financial advisors (or anyone!) to contribute, and I will share updates on the process, selection, and the final scholarship being sent (on the funding page & on Twitter @WealthKeel). 100%* of the proceeds will go to the winner(s).
- *If this fund grows larger than the initial Go Fund Me goal of $5,000 ($7,000 in total with our $2,000 contribution), we may look to add an additional scholarship(s).
- *When I withdrawal the final funds for the scholarship, Go Fund Me will withhold their transaction fees (2.9% + .30/donation) since I am organizing this on my own, not as an official non-profit.
How to Apply:
- Please send your resume and a 500-word essay on why you chose to major/minor in financial planning to me directly firstname.lastname@example.org by August 10, 2020.
- Please submit documentation to show you are in the financial planning major/minor and a Junior or Senior.
- We plan to issue the scholarship funds by late August. I will turn off the Go Fund Me page about a week before announcing the winner.
- We hope to make this an annual scholarship, but you will only be eligible to win once.
A huge thank you to Tyrone Ross Jr. and Dasarte Yarnway for taking the time to help with this. I will take this one from you guys, I appreciate you!
This all came together relatively quickly, so please bear with me as I learn. I am always open to suggestions and improvements. My hope is that this is a huge success and we can grow and improve this for future years.
Thank you. Love equally.