As the new year kicks into high gear, many of us are focused on eliminating that post holiday debt and achieving those long term financial goals but, according to financial coach and community advocate Gail Perry-Mason, budgeting isn’t just for adults. It’s never too early to learn about sound money management.

As founder of Detroit’s first youth investment club – Money Matters for YouthPerry-Mason is passionate about financial literacy. “This program was launched because of a need I saw in our youth,” she told Crain’s Detroit. She has taught more than 6,000 young people in the metro Detroit area about the value of the dollar. 

A service provider at the FREC, Perry-Mason empowers teens with practical lessons through her Money Matters Youth Camp, but that’s not all they learn. At the most recent youth camp held over winter break, participants took ballroom dance classes as well as lessons on etiquette. “It’s important that they learn the value of themselves before they learn the value of the dollar,” Perry-Mason told FREC Director Justin Kimpson.

Photo: YouTube/FREC City

Camp goers were in for a pleasant suprise when they ran into rapper and entrepreneur, Jeezy who shared with the group his own bit of priceless wisdom on money management. “Jeezy was so nice and so wonderful,” Perry-Mason shared. “He told the kids that he spends money, but he also saves money, and that really reinforced what they learned – How to spend and save.”

Photo: Money Matters for Youth

The FREC is privileged to have such passionate and dedicated service providers as Gail Perry-Mason.

Check out her following three Money Matters financial tips for kids: 


Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook @FRECCITY and visit our FREC locations at:

FREC (D1): 2826 Bagley Ave, Detroit, MI 48216 | PH: 313.962.4888  Ask for Carmen

FREC (D2): 15491 Maddelein St., Detroit, MI 48205 | PH: 313.733.1240  Ask for Justin


The Ford Resource and Engagement Center (FREC) is a client-directed community center where people can learn new skills, obtain needed services, develop new talents and celebrate community. Made possible by grants from Ford Motor Company Fund, The Ford Resource and Engagement Center brings together non-profit partners to serve the surrounding community. 

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