Curtis Carroll's speech on financial literacy talks about the importance of uplifting Americans, especially those in the prison system and those of few financial means, through teaching them how to manage their money in a way that is straightforward and practical.
In the speech, Curtis "Wall Street" Carroll talks about how he was raised in poverty and felt as though crime was his only way to gain financial means. When he was arrested at the age of 17 and sent to prison for 54 years for a robbery that ended in murder, he learned that the experiences that many people in the prison system have were similar to his, and wanted to teach people a way out. At the age of 20 he taught himself how to read, and with the power of literacy he learned about the stock market soon after. He first built a curriculum in prison that helped his peers learn how to manage money through prison employment, and then soon after he learned the frightening statistics on the wealth, or lack thereof, of most Americans – an unlikely paradox considering the United States' immense financial power on an international scale. With this new information he founded the Financial Empowerment Emotional Literacy program, where he teaches incarcerated individuals how to manage their finances and cost of living once they enter back into society, so that they don't fall back into the same cycle of poverty that will likely lead them back into prison soon after their release. The F.E.E.L program's focus is to teach incarcerated individuals to learn how their emotions affect their financial decisions, and how to separate the two.
Curtis Carroll's poetic speech provides inspiration to those who are seeking to learn about, or get out of, the cycle of poverty that exists in the United States.
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