Waddell & Reed Financial, Inc. has expanded its partnership with Rock The Street Wall Street (RTSWS) to include a high school in the Kansas City Public Schools district in the USA. As Waddell & Reed Financial continues to broaden its outreach, education and diversity & inclusion initiatives, Lincoln College Preparatory Academy becomes the second school, along with Shawnee Mission North High School, that the company is partnering with through RTSWS to offer a financial and investment literacy programme for female high school students.
“We’re pleased to expand our partnership to a second school and place further tangible support behind our belief in increasing diversity in the financial industry over the long term,” said Philip J. Sanders, CEO of Waddell & Reed Financial, Inc. “This is such an important, effective progrmme for future generations of female financial leaders. Data shows it is very successful in raising financial literacy levels and encouraging young students to pursue their dreams of a career in finance.”
Lincoln College Preparatory Academy, founded in 1865 and located near where Waddell & Reed Financial’s future headquarters is currently under construction in downtown Kansas City, is a historical cornerstone for the city and has a strong presence in the education community.
“We’re grateful to Rock the Street, Wall Street and its many corporate sponsors, including Waddell & Reed Financial, for bringing this innovative financial literacy programme to Lincoln Prep,” said Kristian Foster, Principal of Lincoln College Preparatory Academy. “This is another example of how we’re leveraging partnerships to meet needs of our students. This programme is going to benefit our entire community!”
Through RTSWS, a national, non-profit organisation, partnership engagement includes financial literacy sessions, mentoring programmes and a field trip to Waddell & Reed Financial headquarters.
In 2019, Waddell & Reed Financial became the first organisation in the Kansas City area to partner with RTSWS when it introduced its partnership with Shawnee Mission North High School, which has carried forward for the 2020-21 school year. Surveys conducted after Waddell & Reed Financial’s first programme year with Shawnee Mission North showed a 65 per cent increase in financial literacy among students who participated, and a 100 per cent increase in those who said they are likely to pursue a major/minor in finance or economics.
“It’s imperative to improve girls’ financial literacy before they reach college,” said Maura Cunningham, founder and CEO of Rock The Street, Wall Street. “Creating a more robust pipeline of women entering finance must start in high school. Many girls adjust their college searches and their career direction after completing our programme. And all of them leave the experience with greater fiscal confidence that will benefit them throughout their lives.”
More than 2,325 girls have gone through the RTSWS programme since its founding in 2013. RTSWS students average a 92 per cent increase in their understanding of financial literacy between the start and end of the programme. Graduates of the programme are 4.8 times more likely to pursue degrees in finance, economics, or related fields than the US national average for undergraduate females.