From his studies to his extracurriculars to his hobbies, American University senior Samuel Lane lives and breathes financial education.
“I believe financial education is a critical component of economic security; however, for too many, financial advice is costly and economic stability feels out of reach,” he said. “Developing financial products that meet the needs of people, no matter their economic condition, is critical to changing this dynamic.”
Lane’s passion for finance reaches far beyond the walls of American University’s Kogod School of Business. He plays an active role in managing two student-run investment funds totaling one million dollars in assets. He also advises various businesses in Greater Washington and works with the Coalition For Non Profit Housing and Economic Development on capital access issues for small businesses.
His desire to make an impact on the broader world drove him to seek volunteer opportunities that would advance issues important to him like financial capability and entrepreneurship.
He chose Junior Achievement because of its focus on providing K-12 students with a solid foundation in financial concepts, leadership development and entrepreneurial skills.
“Partnering and volunteering with JA presents an opportunity to dig into structural issues,” Lane said. “These skills combined with simulations and opportunities to build real assets have the potential to fundamentally change a kid’s life.”
For Lane, the most rewarding part of working with JA is seeing students apply the lessons to the real world, like landing a job after a successful interview or starting a savings account of their own.
“These small actions have a huge effect later in life, and it’s an honor being able to play a small role in these kids’ lives,” he said.
Lane continues to be impressed by students’ eagerness to learn about unfamiliar financial concepts. Core subjects like math, science and English are important, he explained, but it’s skills like economics, leadership and entrepreneurship that teach students to take initiative and engage with the world around them.
He encourages the next generation to do just that: “Don’t wait in line for your turn. Study hard and look for opportunities to disrupt and innovate,” he said.
When he’s not in the classroom, Lane is a fashion model in New York City. His ultimate goal is to merge his passion for asset and wealth building with the large online following he’s amassing to help more people take control of their financial futures.
If you are inspired by Lane’s story and would like to volunteer with JA, there are plenty of different ways to get involved. Simply fill out our Volunteer Inquiry Form and a JA staff member will be in touch shortly to discuss what time, location, and opportunity are right for your schedule and interests.