When Annapolis native Ricquel Griffin went through school, she wasn’t taught the basics of money management. Now she has started a program to prevent others from missing out on that learning: Money x Mimosas.
“It was the lack of community resources or the school system, that we wasn’t taught about saving and investing,” Griffin said. “I realized in my little world that there was a lack of knowledge then I put it together that it’s every Black community and not just my own.”
Griffin was raised in Annapolis but her family moved to Georgia for better opportunities and resources. Griffin attended Penn State for her bachelor’s degree and is currently going to the University of Baltimore for her MBA.
Learning financial literacy on her own came with a lot of trial and error.
“I realized while I was learning that If I was taught this at a younger age, I wouldn’t have had to go through my younger years eliminating debt I built up,” Griffin said.
And as she paid off those debts, she saw white counterparts buying homes and not burdened by debt.
“They were already used to saving money and dividing their finances. Soon as they get to workplaces they put their money into 401k’s, where my friends weren’t even talking about these things or even understood them,” Griffin said.
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Griffin realized one of the gaps between the groups was knowledge. She decided to start her own consultation program offering 1 on 1 sessions with her for guidance and strategy. She is a certified life coach and a community health worker. She can be booked starting at $50 for an hour of consultation.
Part of the motivation for Money x Mimosas was Griffin wishing she had someone to mentor her early in life. Now that Griffin has acquired that knowledge, she wants to share it to anyone willing to listen.
“Growing up in a single-family household and wanting to give back to the community ... really motivated me to help create pipelines for people that may feel hopeless,” Griffin said. “It is a mindset of hopelessness, in the Black communities, we find ourselves living to work and pay bills. I felt like that is not a life worth living.”
Holding the class in Annapolis meant a lot to Griffin. She said it is a place she had to move from because her mother couldn’t afford to live here. Other Black families are dealing with that same struggle.
“I am preventing people from having to search high and low to find this information. I am cultivating it in a way that it makes sense for them,” Griffin said. “Translating this information so that young Black professionals and entrepreneurs can understand it easily and apply it. If we can’t genuinely internalize it in a way that we understand then there is no way we can apply it in our lives.”