What is Advocacy?

Why should you advocate?

Currently, only 35 states require students to take a course in personal finance to graduate from high school. This leaves millions of students with limited or no access to this critical courses. Without state requirements, this access is also inequitable. Your advocacy can help to expand students’ access to this knowledge and a financially successful future.

Advocacy tips 

Find your voice

Effective advocacy is storytelling. Be prepared to tell your story – did you take a personal finance or economics course that resonated with you? Do you lack access to these courses? Take stock of your school and community’s reality and be prepared to tell that story.

Be Confident

Go into any interaction with confidence. If you aren’t 18 yet, you will be soon. You are the boss of any elected official – they work for you! You have the right to voice your opinion and to be heard. You know your story and your experience better than anyone else. 

Your future

Discuss what the courses you have taken mean for your future – are you now interested in working in finance? Do you better understand how to set yourself up for a strong financial future? Do you want to study economics in college? Do you feel unprepared for your future without access to economics or personal finance classes? These are meaningful data points for your advocacy.

Do your homework

Do your homework before you start advocating. Find your local representatives, legislators, school board members, superintendent, etc. Find their earlier work and positions on the issues you are interested in. Have they worked on or voted on bills related to personal finance or economic education? Do they have a background or job in economics or personal finance? Did they go to your high school, church, or other shared institution? Any connection can be a great way to feel closer to them.

You are the expert on your story

Do not feel like you must have all the answers to go into an advocacy campaign. Lean on your teachers, leaders, or us at CEE for help. You are the expert on your story – you are not expected to be the subject matter expert on the issues or the legislative process. Advocacy does not need to be a full-time job – do what you can and feel empowered to use your voice to advocate for change for your community!

Join our Action Network

Join our Action Network to receive updates and materials you can use to advocate in your own community!