By Taryn Skees for Amplify — December 2, 2022
Darius and Courtney Pettway are investors and entrepreneurs. As they began to pursue their own financial freedom journey, they quickly realized the opportunity cost of not knowing about financial literacy earlier. Their desire to show others how to break negative generational cycles and see other families evolve from just surviving to thriving was the catalyst to create a solution.
Together in their living room, they created KidVestors, a financial education program and curriculum dedicated to teaching underserved youth the importance of financial literacy and investing. Learn more about the Pettway’s entrepreneurial journey – which started well before KidVestors – in our Q&A with Darius and Courtney:
Q: What inspired KidVestors?
Kidvestors was inspired by our own journey. Several years ago, out of a desire to leave the rat race we decided to submerge ourselves in all things financial education. We learned how to budget, improve our credit and most importantly how to invest. We started investing in the stock market, since it has a lower barrier to entry, and we soon followed that by learning how to invest in real estate by purchasing investment properties right here in Louisville. We decided to share our journey virtually and gained an unexpected online traction which led us to hosting workshops both virtually and in-person predominantly to black professionals prior to the pandemic. The consensus among those who attended our free workshops was “I wish that I knew about this information earlier.” That was the moment the lightbulb went off for us, and we knew that we needed to reach our youth.
Q: How did you determine what age group to begin teaching financial literacy?
Our oldest son, who is three years old, dresses up every morning because he wants to go to work to “make some money”. Why? Because we are intentional in raising him to appreciate hard work to earn money.
We believe that it’s never too early to start having money conversations. So our curriculum engages children as early as five years old to understand money in their own way. We ensure that our content is not only culturally relevant and relatable to simplify finance, but that the topics are also age appropriate.
Q: Is KidVestors your first entrepreneurial endeavor?
No, it’s not. We guess we have always been entrepreneurial. We actually had a graphics company where we would create graphics, logos, websites, etc for other entrepreneurs. We soon realized the time commitment involved was a bit much and it didn’t necessarily align with our goals. So we pivoted and started our real estate company, Pettway Estates and construction firm Pettway Construction & Management a few years ago which we still do now.
Q: What do you hope to accomplish with KidVestors – what would be the ultimate measure of success?
Our aim is for KidVestors to be the leading financial education curriculum in the country. Our long term vision is to aid in closing the racial wealth gap. Right now, black and brown net worth is projected to be zero by 2053 if nothing changes. In order to help close this gap, we have to begin collecting and owning more assets like real estate, stocks, etc. But in order to do that you have to first know how and have access to the information. This is why KidVestors aims to provide both the access and the knowledge to our underserved youth to help close this gap.
Q: What does a KidVestors program at school look like?
At the beginning of class, students log into our gamified platform in which they would begin their modules. Our content aligns with financial education standards for K-12th so they would learn topics which would be catered to their grade level ranging from budgeting, to taxes and credit, to stock market investing, real estate investing, and entrepreneurship just to name a few. We save educators time as well because of the comprehensive nature of our platform, curated lesson plans, and automated grading system. But we don’t just stop at teaching students the information, we are creating ways for them to implement the knowledge in real time as well.
Q: What role do KidVestor partners play and who should get involved?
In order for KidVestors to impact as many students and families as possible, we realize that the best avenue is by partnering with banking institutions, financial services partners, and corporations who are looking to sponsor a school (or organization) so our product can remain free to students. We are looking to connect with decision makers in these spaces as well as approval from educational leaders such as superintendents, principals, administrators to help make KidVestors a standard part of school curriculum.
KidVestors® is a digital platform and financial literacy curriculum for underserved K-12th students. We blend our culturally relevant approach along with our gamified platform to engage students and simplify finance and investing. Learn more at www.kidvestors.co.