A group of past and present Pittsburgh Steelers players are partnering with the app Goalsetter’s “Drafted” campaign to assist Black and Brown kids nationwide on the path to financial freedom.
Former Steelers linebacker James Farrior, former safety Will Allen, defensive end Stephon Tuitt and offensive tackle Zach Banner are each “drafting” 100 kids, opening each a savings account with $40 to teach financial literacy. The initiative hopes to impact 1,000,000 children across the country for Black History Month.
.@JamesFarrior, @WillAllenWAF, @ZBNFL and @DOCnation_7 are all getting involved with @GoalsetterCo, an app designed to help families begin to save for the future, starting with the youngest members, to put them on the path to financial freedom.https://t.co/Tsfz7mDJMk— Steelers Community Relations (@SteelersCR) February 4, 2021
The campaign began with a partnership between Goalsetter and NBA superstar Chris Paul, but has expanded well beyond the hardwood, with athletes across the sports spectrum joining in on the cause.
Goalsetter is a “Black-owned kids and family finance app that provides a next-generation, education-first banking experience for U.S. kids and teens.” The company was started by former Nickelodeon and ESPN executive Tanya Van Court, and was even featured on SharkTank.
Why $40? The total is a reference to the “40 acres and a mule” phrase, which calls out the “Federal government’s failure to redistribute land after the Civil War and the economic hardship that African Americans suffered as a result.”
For Farrior, it is all about providing this generation with crucial financial literacy he wishes he had access to growing up.
“I use myself as an example. My family didn’t come from money. I didn’t know about finances until I came into money,” Farrior told Steelers.com. “If I had a better background, a better education, from growing up, it would have better prepared me for the situation I was thrust into. Not to say I did anything bad, but I probably made some decisions I regret now. You live and you learn. The earlier you can teach kids about these things now, the more they will be able to be successful.”
Tuitt can relate as well, and sees the work the campaign’s work as invaluable.
“Financial literacy is key for children because if a child can understand it and grow and know the formulas that come with it, people won’t take advantage of them,” Tuitt told Steelers.com. “For them not to have that at an early age, there is a lot of catching up to do. For there to be an app where children can understand how to save, for people to be able to donate to, so they can build a portfolio, it shows them and gives them the courage at a young age to know they can do this. Then when they get to an age where they have bills and should have investments and families, they have the chance to be a mentor for others and can have a life where they are comfortable with where their money is going, how it’s working for them, how they can make it grow. I was blessed to have trustworthy people on my side when I got into the NFL to help me with my money and know where it is going.”
Banner announced his participation on Twitter on Thursday, “drafting” kids through local organizations 1Hood and the YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh.
“It gives a sense of belonging. We want to focus on the inner-city urban communities that don’t have those resources,” Banner told Steelers.com. “Black History Month is a time of year when there is a spotlight on a very powerful group of people who need to feel empowered. It’s our job as Black men and women, who are in positions we are in, to put those in need on a pedestal before ourselves.”
Kids with savings accounts are 6x more likely to go to college.— Zach Banner (@ZBNFL) February 4, 2021
This #BlackHistoryMonth, @goalsetterco and I have a mission to start 1 million savings accounts for Black and Brown kids. I drafted kids at @1hood + @ymcapgh to start their first savings account w/ a deposit of $40! pic.twitter.com/z2W2SrBbq8