MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Minneapolis woman is using her life experiences to help end the cycle of poverty for kids in her community.

Tina Jackson hosted her 12th annual “Surviving the Game” conference on Tuesday.

The day of events teaches hundreds of students per year about financial literacy.

“As someone who grew up in Minneapolis and witnessed a lot of crime and violence, I always said that if I was able to get out I would provide resources,” Jackson said. “And ‘Surviving the Game’ is just that.”

Speakers touched on topics related to savings, credit and even Wall Street.

“I want these kids to know that you have the power to get out of any situation that you’re in just like I did,” Jackson said.

Some 200 middle school, high school and college students were at the conference in St. Paul.

Jackson, who grew up without much money, worked her way through the University of Minnesota, became a teacher and eventually the dean of academic affairs at Hennepin Technical College.

Myah Ashley-Staple, an 18-year-old who is preparing for college in the fall, attended the conference.

She is planning to study biomedical engineering.

“I definitely think this is a necessary program because after today I’m going to take away everything, I’m going to absorb everything to make me prosperous for my future,” Ashley-Staple said.

They are tools taught for financial success, but Jackson wants to inspire students to always hold on to their most valuable asset: Hope.

“The most important piece is to have hope,” Jackson said. “I want students to know that I’m like them and if I can do it they can do it.”

As part of the day-long conference. the students got to go to a Lynx game and meet some of the players.

Surviving the Game also gave out seven scholarships for $500 to $1,000.

Here is more information on Surviving the Game.


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