The Wealthy Child: Laying the Foundation of wealth at an early age

As we inch closer and closer to a global economy, more and more parents are realizing that it’s going to take more than simply a top collegiate education to provide their children with an advantage in today’s overcrowded business and workplace. 

Delvin Sullivan, a United States Army veteran, and Entrepreneur is addressing this very issue and helping young children lay their foundation for wealth. This skill set began while Sullivan was enlisted in the US Army; he began studying the economic condition of American citizens. Over his 8-year military career, he discovered that 7 out of 10 Americans had less than $1,000 in their savings and were generally undereducated in their principles of financial literacy both personally and professionally. 

With Americans swimming in over $1.6 trillion in student loan debt, according to Student Loan Hero, and 80 percent of crimes committed are related to money, Sullivan conspired to create a better way. “I wanted to begin introducing children to the economic process early,” said Sullivan in a phone interview. The Alabama A&M alum, author of the book and step-by-step program, the wealthy child which teaches the 7 pillars of the economic process include: generating income, budgeting, banking, establishing credit, making purchases (asset), investing, and giving back. “The book starts with a little boy that’s 10 years old and us starting a business. Each pillar has a lesson.” Throughout the book, the young boy learns the economic process as he builds and scales his business to even include employing his neighborhood friends. 

Sullivan believes that if you equip children with the proper financial literacy tools, in their own words, it will enable them to grow to be financially responsible adults, entrepreneurs and decrease prison sentences among youth and adults. “The 7 pillars of the economic process (teaches you how to earn, save, grow and respect a dollar. Sullivan teaches his program in the boys and Girls Club across Alabama, schools, and youth groups. Although the program is designed for elementary and middle school-aged children (9-12), Sullivan has seen many adults take principles in his program and incorporate them into their own personal finances. “80 percent of crimes are money related and my goal is to at least cut that in half. If I can teach you how to earn, grow, save and respect a dollar at an early age, you won’t feel the need to take someone else’s.”

Over the last five years of teaching this program according to Sullivan’s Check on learning survey, 100 percent of children who go through the program leave knowing how to maintain a budget and how credit works, the three credit bureaus, etc. 

In 2010, Sullivan was recognized for his transformative economic work in the community through induction in the Boys and Girls Club of Northern Alabama. The Wealthy Child is available for purchase on Sullivan’s Website. 

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