Volunteering with local non-profits is something I would encourage just about everyone to do. I say "just about everyone," because I know there are some people that would do more harm than good in a situation such as talking to 4,000 10th graders in small groups all day about their future careers and the importance of budgeting.
The truth is, 10th graders don't care about budgeting or their future careers because they are still under the impression that this is easy. I decided to do my best anyway, to positively impact the youth of Louisiana through (for lack of better words), a conversation I deemed "boulevard of broken dreams." It went kind of like this.
Girl 1: I want a pet tiger when I grow up.
Me: Well you can't have one.
Girl 1: What? But I'm going to be a surgeon, and I'm not getting married or having kids. I'll be ballin.
Me: No, you WANT to be a surgeon, you THINK now that you won't get married or have kids, and pet tigers are illegal.
Boy 1: I'm going to be a model.
Me: You probably won't. Do you have a backup plan?
Boy 1: Look at this face - I don't need a backup plan!
Me: You better marry a rich woman then. Or man.
Girl 2: (while budgeting for workout cost) I don't need to PAY to jog around my neighborhood.
Me: Where do your running shoes come from then? Even if you have some now, they don't last forever. Shoes, socks, workout clothes - these are all things that will get worn and have to be replaced.
Girl 2: Well Santa will bring all that. This is my scenario.
Me: In THIS scenario, you are an adult. There is no Santa. I'm very sorry.
Overall, I think it was a good experience for everyone. Some of the kids really paid attention and got something out of this. Others at least got a wake-up call.