Schreiber High School senior Eden Bloch is not your average high school 12th grader. As founder of the Port Washington Financial Literacy Project, she spends her spare time forging partnerships to help young adults achieve financial literacy.
The project provides what it bills as the most comprehensive guide on the Internet. It is filled with a multitude of resources for young adults to gain control of their financial situation and outlines financial aid programs and how to apply for them.
The guide titled “College Center” is broken up into five sections: financial aid, student loans, significant financial need, student jobs and student discounts.
“College Center” has also been made available in Spanish.
Bloch founded the Port Washington Financial Literacy Project in December 2017 after she watched her two older siblings go through the college selection process and apply for school loans. She remembered her brother trying to sort through everything with her family and she thought there is no reason why there should not be just one guide that laid out all the available resources.
Now it’s a family business with Bloch enlisting her sister Morgan, a junior at Cornell University, as the director of advocacy.
The program has been recognized by the Broward County School District in Florida, which is the sixth largest school district in the country. Bloch recently was given a proclamation from the Town of North Hempstead.
The guide has yet to be recognized by the Port Washington Union-Free School District but has received recognition and support from the Port Washington Public Library.
Bloch said she has received emails from parents and students all over the country who have said the project has helped them make a better informed financial decision.
Even with her website having reached over 165,000 page views, the Bloch sisters said it’s not about the numbers but each individual who they have been able to help.
Bloch said: “While I am proud the [Port Washington Financial Literacy Project] has gone viral, it revealed the gap between demand for financial literacy programs and access.”
Most recently, Bloch has reached out to the U.S. Department of Education, which has identified resources for Bloch to help her project grow even larger.
Secretary Betsy DeVos referred the Port Washington Financial Literacy Project to the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance because she believes Bloch’s project would be a useful model for other educators to examine.
Bloch’s organization has also endowed a $500 scholarship for a graduating senior at Schreiber High School. She said the district has noted this is the first time that a scholarship will be given from one student to another.
Bloch’s next endeavor is creating the Teen Center, which will focus on helping teens learn budgeting, banking, and personal finance skills. Bloch said she believes these applicable skills are not being taught widely enough in schools.
As for her own trajectory, Bloch will be moving onto college in the fall. She expects to hear from her colleges in March and is interested in studying economics.