Steve Ferguson, entrepreneur and owner of the Norristown-based company Nevets Entertainment, was shocked to find out what a youth at the company was doing with his hard-earned money.
“One of the youth I deal with was going to a check-cashing place, and I asked, ‘Why are you paying somebody to cash your money?’” Ferguson said of the conversation, which took place sometime in 2012. “He said, ‘Because, there was no where else to go.’”
“That made me so upset,” Ferguson said.
The Norristown native said that for years now his entertainment company has offered Norristown-area youth an opportunity to participate in a mentoring program. Ferguson, through the program, teaches youth about being a DJ, pro-audio equipment, how to plan events, as well as the responsibilities of running a business.
While Ferguson said that he has nothing against check-cashing businesses, he said the teenaged youth was unaware of how banks worked, and took him to open his first banking account. This action prompted Ferguson to think if there might be other youth in the same situation.
“My heart was moved to say, ‘I got to do something,’” Ferguson said. “These youth need to know.”
In addition to mentoring youth through his entertainment company, Ferguson has also organized Youth Empowerment Weekends since 2005. The annual event offers area teens and their families free concerts in local parks, while introducing them to speakers and vendors who provide information on higher education and career possibilities.
Through this experience, Ferguson decided to create another event, the Youth Financial Seminar, which would focus on helping youth take control of their financial futures.
Youth Financial Seminar
The inaugural Youth Financial Seminar took place April 6, 2012, at the Greater Norristown Police Athletic League (GNPAL), located at 340 Harding Blvd. in Norristown. The aim of the seminar is to increase financial literacy within participating youth by inviting professionals within the various areas of the financial industry as guest speakers.
According to Ferguson, there were six speakers last year, each giving a 15-20-minute presentation. Topics included opening bank accounts, 401k plans, explanation of college financing, and included speakers from Vanguard, Erie Insurance, as well as the owner of the Philadelphia 76ers.
This year, the event will again take place at GNPAL on April 13, from 5 – 9 p.m. Ferguson expects double the speakers, including a CFO talking about corporate financing for youth interested in a career in finance.
In between speakers, youth and their families will have the opportunity to interact with the speakers.
Ferguson takes pride in pointing out that youth with Nevet Entertainment company’s mentoring program will be taking lead in setting up the event, such as creating the stage, lighting and technical services.
Last year, Ferguson said that over 70 youth attended the event and expects up to 300 youth to attend.
Also this year, Ferguson invited 610 Entrtainment Group, a group of teen to young adult musical artists to present a free hour-and-a-half-long concert at the end of the event, as a reward for attending youth.
In addition to the concert, the Youth Financial Seminar will feature raffles and door prizes. Currently, Ferguson is looking for a donation of an e-reader to present as a featured raffle at the event.
He said that last year’s event was successful and has been approached by community leaders outside of Norristown to host a Youth Financial Seminar in their towns, such as in Philadelphia and Pottstown.
“We definitely want to reach the youth and give them a fighting chance about their finances,” Ferguson said.
Heading to the Youth Financial Seminar?
Where: Greater Norristown Police Athletic League, 340 Harding Blvd. in Norristown
- When: April 13, from 5 – 9 p.m.
- Admission: Free
For more information, visit www.nevetsentertainment.com or contact Steve Ferguson at 484-429-5885.