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Crystal Evans spent years surveying men, women, children, educators and financial experts, and she found that all agreed there is a severe lack of personal finance programs in early education. That shortage contributes to economic disparities across the country and generational poverty, her research found.

So when she attended a National Small Business Association briefing at the White House in 2013, Evans was ready. She shared her concerns about poverty with then-President Barack Obama and the White House Business Council. That conversation inspired Evans to plot out the framework of what would become a nonprofit with a mission to end generational poverty. U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey identified the concept as a high priority.

Two years later, Evans launched Money Talks Edu to teach fundamental personal-finance concepts to teens. The financial literacy platform targets middle- and high school-aged children in underserved communities in the Philadelphia area and beyond.

“We are the most comprehensive, focused violence prevention program working in the poorest and most statistically challenging communities in Philadelphia and using police officer volunteers to deliver vital services and outreach to vulnerable youth and young adults,” the nonprofit said. “We seek to cover every aspect of meeting quality-of-life needs and establishing paths that change the trajectory of people living through community violence — from physical health to mental health support, to developing healthy relationships with money, to the awakening of new careers and wealthgenerating opportunities.”

Evans previously worked as a business banker and licensed finance professional. Her financial literacy workshops offer a range of programs and services, from developing a banking relationship to entrepreneurship to credit building and restoration. She aims to raise awareness through community engagement and accommodating educational workshops at schools, libraries and recreational facilities. Evans’ work gained the support of educators who helped to develop and publish “Road to Riches: Financial Literacy Guide for Teens.”

“Crystal’s business background in securing jobs for minorities through private, multimillion-dollar contracting opportunities … her tireless advocacy of social reform, developing community partnerships and business banking provided the perfect foundation for this exciting initiative,” her team said.

Money Talks Edu recently launched Money Talks Magazine, available online and in 40,000 major retail stores worldwide. The organization plans to expand its reach and audience through a digital subscription service.

Councilman Kenyatta Johnson awarded Evans an honorable citation for Women’s History Month and she received the Philadelphia Business Journal’s 2021 Most Admired CEOs award.

“I believe that by implementing financial literacy to the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of color) students will help them understand how fundamental mathematical conceptions relate to personal finance [and] real life and adapt to a rapidly changing world,” Evans said.


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