Why We Do What We Do

Why We Do What We Do


Jeromy had not attended my high school business math and personal finance classes. He graduated a few years back. But his younger sister was one of my best students. Kathy was a highly capable and very consistent student. She was never late and never absent… until today.

Curious, I asked her best friend, Linda, why she was absent. “Didn’t you hear? Kathy’s brother Jeromy committed suicide.” Shocked I slumped back. “Why? What… what happened?” Linda’s explanation has become my life’s motivation. Jeromy’s story is why I teach financial literacy.

“Jeromy got a construction job and bought a fancy car. The job was temporary and he got behind on his car payments. He covered those payments and his rent with cash advances on his credit card. He got behind on the credit card and got a pay day loan. Not able to repay the high interest pay day loan he got a cash advance from a loan shark.”

I discovered the rest later that morning. Jeromy took the shark’s money to the casino and lost it all. He then chose a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

Personal financial literacy should be a required high school class. Candidly, after graduation, most students will never use trigonometry or calculus. But their wise or foolish financial decisions will reward or haunt them for decades to come.

I never had the opportunity to help Jeromy. I sincerely hope I can help you.