Who we are
RoleModels University (RMU) is an out-of-school time initiative serving both boys and girls.
Although operation is during after-school, weekend, and summer school hours, it is far more than an after-school program or summer camp. RoleModels is a wise investment within the leadership development and financial trajectory of its students and the communities in which we live.
Who we are
According to the 2021 U.S. Census Bureau, Child Poverty fell to a record low of 5.2%. According to a January 2021 CAP (Center for American Progress) Report, The Basic Facts about Children in Poverty: “Nearly 11 million children are living in Poverty in the U.S.” Raj Chetty is the William A. Ackman Professor of Public Economics at Harvard University and Director of Opportunity Insights
For CLT: Understanding the Upward Mobility Crisis in Charlotte-
The chasm between rich and poor in Charlotte is so wide, Charlotte has been referred to as the “Tale of Two Cities: the City of Poverty, and the City of Prosperity.” Concentrated areas of poverty are a key indicator of low community economic mobility.
- More than 1 in 7 (15.2%) of Charlotte residents live below the poverty line.
- 1 in 5 children in Mecklenburg County lives in poverty (~50,000 kids).
- Majority of kids in poverty are children of color:
- 35.7% of all Hispanic children.
- 30.7% of all Black children
- 19.7% of all Asian children
- 4.7% of all White children
(Data source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2013 American Community Survey)
The poverty rate at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools held steady at 54 percent for the third year in a row. Charlotte Observer- March 13, 2014
Of the 248,565 children in Mecklenburg County, 1 in 5 (51,666/20.8%) live in poverty. Council for Children’s Rights-2018
A Solution: We feel we are part of our city’s long term economic solution toward upward mobility. Our goal is simple: help youth to stay in school, build leaders and break generational poverty cycles by equipping our students with a Financial I.Q. with a racial equity lens and personal business ownership.
Since our 2008 establishment, RoleModels University (RMU) has operated as a mobile-model providing leadership and financial education to students of Charlotte-Mecklenburg and surrounding counties at various site locations. For 15+ years, RoleModels University has operated after-school, lunch and learns, and workshops inside various site locations exposing youth to positive new frames of thinking about themselves and about money. Because RoleModels University has continued to grow in the number of students served, being mobile is beginning to present challenges of consistency for both RoleModels University and students. It is time for RoleModels University to take root in one location. Youth need stability, consistency and follow up. Otherwise, the new exposure fades and old habits resume.
-Jerry Boyce Jr., Founder, Executive Director