BBB TeenSmart Workshop


The BBB TeenSmart program was launched during the 2008-2009 school year and has provided over 100 financial literacy workshops to 2149 high school students, primarily in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. Workshops are conducted by BBB staff and volunteers from the business community.



Program Overview


The Situation: According to a 2015 study by Pew Research Center, 73% of teens have cell phones, 92% are online daily, and 71% use more than one social media network. The study also shows one out of three high school seniors use credit cards and half of those have credit cards in their own names. Nellie Mae reports that, on average, freshmen bring $1,585 in credit card debt to college.


Teens are full-fledged consumers, but many are lacking the basic financial literacy to assist them to make sound decisions.  Now, and as they become adults, they are thus at greater risk of falling prey to questionable offers, negative/costly buying experiences, and poor spending and credit practices.  


TeenSmart Workshop Goal: To generate/heighten high school students’ awareness that basic consumer knowledge and skills are critically important to their future well-being.


The Class:  The 40 minute – 80 minute workshop offers tools to help students make better buying decisions and be responsible with their finances.  The interactive presentation engages the students using everyday marketplace challenges they face. Students will learn:


  • How to Use Credit Wisely: by identifying the advantages and disadvantages of using credit, knowing how a poor credit rating can affect future purchasing ability and recognizing how poor credit practices can lead to serious financial problems;
  •      The Importance of Budgeting and Saving: Handling money wisely can help avoid financial and legal problems;
  •      Wise Cell Phone Usage: Cell phone purchasing is used to demonstrate how carelessness with consumer purchases can lead to victimization and financial loss.
  •            How to Avoid Identity Theft: E-mail, cell phones and social networking sites are gateways for identity thieves. Learn how to guard against it and how to recognize if one’s identity has been stolen.
  •     Student Loan Information: The trust about how to obrain student loans and avoid fraud. 



Click here to view the BBB’s Teen Tips for Financial Literacy.


To Request a workshop, please contact Pam Anson at 216-623-8964 X108 or