Recently I had the privilege to attend the FutureSmart challenge by MassMutual that was put in Phoenix, Arizona. There was about 2,500 students in the Talking Stick Arena where the Phoenix Suns normally play.

The event is geared toward teaching the future generations about managing money well.

You might think that it is a boring subject to learn at such a young age, but I was impressed at how they made it fun and engaging for the students. Hill Harper, an actor from NCIS, was the main speaker and he definitely knew how to work a crowd. He gave them practical advice about creating a money “blueprint”.

One of my favorite things Hill said was, “I’d rather buy Nike stock than Nike shoes.” He then proceeded to give one of his Nike shoes away to a student in the crowd.

In between the key points of his talk, they had some talented people come out to dunk basketballs which made it entertaining so that these kids we’re alert and paying attention to the material. They also had dance off where Hill would call on random students in the audience and have them compete with each other by doing their best moves to a current hit song.

It was easy to tell that these kids were engaged and ready to soak up whatever Hill said.

At the end, Hill had a call to action to make sure that they would actually apply what they learned. He told them to message him on Instagram with a photo of their blueprint.

If I was a student in that room and a popular actor told me to send them a message, I would have definitely done it.

I even had the opportunity to interview Hill and ask him how kids that come from families of low means could succeed. He said, “Its not about what you make, it is about what you save.”

See interview with Hill here:

If these kids implement even a fraction of what they learned to their lives, they are going to be in a much better financial position then even I was as that age.

“This article was sponsored by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), Springfield, MA 01111-0001. All opinions are those of the author.”

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