I was 14 years old
inside of a bowling alley, burglarizing an arcade game,
and upon exiting the building
a security guard grabbed my arm, so I ran.
I ran down the street, and I jumped on top of a fence.
And when I got to the top,
the weight of 3,000 quarters in my book bag
pulled me back down to the ground.
So when I came to,
the security guard was standing on top of me, and he said,
” Next time you little punks steal something you can carry.”
I was taken to juvenile hall
and when I was releasedinto the custody of my mother,
the first words my uncle said was,”How’d you get caught?”
我说 “老兄 那书包实在太重了！”
I said,”Man, the book bag was too heavy.”
He said,”Man, you weren’t supposedto take all the quarters.”
I said,”Man, they were small.What am I supposed to do?”
And 10 minutes later, he took me to burglarize another arcade game.
We needed gas money to get home.
That was my life.
I grew up in Oakland, California,
with my mother and members of my immediate family
addicted to crack cocaine.
我总是居无定所 有时住亲戚家 住朋友家
My environment consistedof living with family, friends,
and homeless shelters.
Oftentimes, dinner was servedin breadlines and soup kitchens.
The big homey told me this:
money rules the world and everything in it.
And in these streets, money is king.
And if you follow the money,
it’ll lead you to the bad guy or the good guy.
Soon after, I committed my first crime,
and it was the first time
that I was told that I had potential
and felt like somebody believed in me.
Nobody ever told methat I could be a lawyer,
doctor or engineer.
I mean, how was I supposed to do that?
I couldn’t read, write or spell.
I was illiterate.
So I always thoughtcrime was my way to go.
And then one day I was talking to somebody
and he was telling me about this robbery that we could do.
And we did it.
The reality was that I was growing up
in the strongest financial nation in the world,
the United States of America,
while I watched my mother
stand in line at a blood bank
to sell her blood for 40 dollars just to try to feed her kids.
She still has the needle marks
on her arms to day to show for that.
So I never cared about my community.
They didn’t care about my life.
Everybody there was doing what they
were doing to take what they wanted,
毒贩 强盗 血库都是这样
the drug dealers,the robbers, the blood bank.
Everybody was taking blood money.
So I got mine by any means necessary.
I got mine.
Financial literacyreally did rule the world,
and I was a child slave to it following the bad guy.
At 17 years old, I was arrestedfor robbery and murder
and I soon learned that finances in prison rule more
than they did on the streets,
so I wanted in.
One day, I rushed to
grab the sports page of the newspaper
so my cellie could read it to me,
and I accidentally picked up the business section.
有个老头儿说：“嘿 年轻人 你玩股票吗？”
And this old man said,”Hey youngster, you pick stocks?”
And I said,”What’s that?”
He said,”That’s the placewhere white folks keep all their money.”
And it was the first time
that I saw a glimpse of hope, a future.
He gave me this brief descriptionof what stocks were,
but it was just a glimpse.
I mean, how was I supposed to do it?
I couldn’t read, write or spell.
The skills that I had developedto hide my illiteracy
no longer worked in this environment.
I was trapped in a cage,prey among predators,
fighting for freedom I never had.
I was lost, tired,
and I was out of options.
So at 20 years old,
I did the hardest thing I’d ever done in my life.
I picked up a book,
and it was the most agonizing time of my life,
trying to learn how to read, the ostracizing from my family, the homeys.
It was rough, man.
It was a struggle.
But little did I know I was receiving
the greatest gifts I had ever dreamed of:
自尊 知识 自律
self-worth, knowledge, discipline.
I was so excited to be reading
that I read everything I could get my hands on:
糖果包装 衣服标牌 路标 所有东西
candy wrappers, clothing logos,street signs, everything.
I was just reading stuff!
Just reading stuff.
I was so excited to know how to read and know how to spell.
The homey came up, said,”Man, what you eating?”
我说 “C-A-N-D-Y 糖果”
I said,”C-A-N-D-Y, candy.”
他说：“让我吃点 ” 我说 “N-O 不行”
He said,”Let me get some.”I said,”N-O. No.”
It was awesome.
I mean, I can actually now for the first time in my life read.
The feeling that I gotfrom it was amazing.
And then at 22, feeling myself,
feeling confident, I remembered what the OG told me.
So I picked up the business sectionof the newspaper.
I wanted to find these rich white folks.
So I looked for that glimpse.
As I furthered my career
in teaching others how to financially manage money and invest,
I soon learned that I had to take responsibility for my own actions.
True, I grew upin a very complex environment,
but I chose to commit crimes,
and I had to own up to that.
I had to take responsibilityfor that, and I did.
I was building a curriculumthat could teach incarcerated men
how to manage moneythrough prison employments.
Properly managing our lifestylewould provide transferrable tools
that we can use to manage moneywhen we reenter society,
like the majority of people didwho didn’t commit crimes.
Then I discovered that according to MarketWatch,
over 60 percent of the American population
has under 1,000 dollars in savings.
Sports Illustrated said thatover 60 percent of NBA players
and NFL players go broke.
40 percent of marital problemsderive from financial issues.
What the hell?
You mean to tell methat people worked their whole lives,
买汽车 衣服 房子还有各种材料等等
buying cars, clothes,homes and material stuff
but were living check to check?
How in the world were members
of society going to help incarcerated individuals
back into society if they couldn’t manage they own stuff?
I needed a better plan.
This is not going to work out too well.
So… I thought.
I now had an obligationto meet those on the path
并帮助他们 这很疯狂 因为我现在开始关心我的社区
and help, and it was crazy because I now cared about my community.
哇 想象一下 我居然关心我的社区了
Wow, imagine that.I cared about my community.
Financial illiteracy is a disease
that has crippled minoritiesand the lower class in our society
for generations and generations,
and we should be furious about that.
Ask yourselves this: How can 50 percentof the American population
be financially illiterate in a nationdriven by financial prosperity?
Our access to justice, our social status,
living conditions, transportation and food
are all dependent on moneythat most people can’t manage.
It’s an epidemic and a bigger danger to public safety
than any other issue.
According to the CaliforniaDepartment of Corrections,
over 70 percent of those incarcerated
have committed or have been chargedwith money-related crimes:
抢劫 入室盗窃 诈骗
larceny, extortion — and the list goes on.
Check this out: a typical incarcerated person
would enter the California prison system
with no financial education, earn 30 cents an hour,
over 800 dollars a year,
with no real expenses and save no money.
Upon his parole,
he will be given 200 dollars gate money and told,
“嘿 祝你好运 别惹事 别又回到监狱里”
“Hey, good luck, stay out of trouble.Don’t come back to prison.”
With no meaningful preparationor long-term financial plan,
what does he do…?
Get a good job,
or go back to the very criminal behavior
that led him to prison in the first place?
You taxpayers, you choose.
Well, his educationalready chose for him, probably.
So how do we cure this disease?
I cofounded a program that we call Financial EmpowermentEmotional Literacy.
We call it FEEL,
and it teaches how do you separate your emotional decisions
from your financial decisions,
and the four timeless rules to personal finance:
the proper way to save, control your cost of living,
borrow money effectively and diversify your finances
by allowing your money to work for you
instead of you working for it.
Incarcerated people need these life skillsbefore we reenter society.
You can’t have full rehabilitationwithout these life skills.
This idea that only professionalscan invest and manage money
is absolutely ridiculous,
and whoever told you that is lying.
A professional is a person
who knows his craft better than most,
and nobody knows how much money you need,
要多少钱 有多少钱 挣多少钱
have or want better than you,
which means you are the professional.
Financial literacy is not a skill,ladies and gentlemen.
It’s a lifestyle.
Financial stability is a byproductof a proper lifestyle.
A financially sound incarcerated personcan become a taxpaying citizen,
and a financially soundtaxpaying citizen can remain one.
This allows us to create a bridge
between those people who we influence:
family, friends and those young people
who still believethat crime and money are related.
So let’s lose the fear and anxiety
of all the big financial words and all
that other nonsense that you’ve been out there hearing.
And let’s get to the heart
of what’s been crippling our society
from taking care of your responsibilityto be better life managers.
And let’s provide a simpleand easy to use curriculum
that gets to the heart, the heart of
what financial empowermentand emotional literacy really is.
Now, if you’re sitting out here in the audience and you said,
“噢 我不会这样 我不买这样的课”
“Oh yeah, well, that ain’t meand I don’t buy it,”
then come take my class —
so I can show you
how much money it costs you every time you get emotional.
Thank you very much. Thank you.