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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Teen Raps About Financial Responsibility

It’s a hip hop song you might not expect to hear from a teenager.

Syretha Shirley, a sophomore at Centennial High School in Las Vegas, won a contest challenging teens to write about financial responsibility.

It was sponsored by the Charles Schwab Foundation and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, which offers a course called “Money Matters.”

In the song, 16-year-old Shirley raps about having a savings account and using a debit card instead of a credit card. She also writes about resisting pressure to buy expensive things that other students might have.

“It never phased me at all, how they flashed the diamonds and chains, got the Gucci suits on, the so-called finer things. See I don’t need Louie or Prada to feel like a million dollars, discount aisle is where I went. Got to have a little bit of fashion sense,” she raps.

Shirley says having money troubles growing up has made her more independent, saving money by babysitting, braiding hair, and selling candy at school.

“I knew what it was like not to have anything or have money, so that kind of forced me or motivated me to do things on my own,” she told Here & Now’s Robin Young.

Shirley won $500 and an all-expenses-paid trip to Atlanta to have her song and a music video produced professionally.

Guest:

  • Syretha Shirley, a sophomore at Centennial High School

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • Susan Murphy

    Just heard the interview with Syretha. She is wonderfully inspiring and truly wise beyond her years. Congratulations to you, Syretha, on this success. I know there have been, and will be, many, many more in your life!

  • Ted Paxton

    Good for her, that’s a great message for young people.  Although, for myself, I always use a CC.  Simply because I can use “their” money for 30 days, and a CC offers much better protection if it’s lost or stolen.  If someone gets ahold of your debit card, they can wipe you out, and you are responsible for more of an amount than you would be if it were a CC.  Also, it takes longer for the bank to put the money back in your account should that happen.  And, if that’s all the money you have, it may put you in a bad position.

    Obviously, it takes more discipline to use a CC in this manner, but it offers much better protection, and until the banks start finding ways to make money off me, I get to use their money and pay it off each billing cycle.

  • ok

    Nice.

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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