Organization Overview
Boards and Staff
Why Financial Education
History & Founder
How We Are Funded
Program Statistics
Success Stories

History & Founder

It Started With a Vision:

In 1984, Bill Daniels, known as the "father of cable television," read about a young group of Denver students seeking a bank loan for a class project, not a single bank would give them a loan.  That's when Bill Daniels realized that we as a society are doing a disservice to our youth by not teaching them early about our financial and economic system. His answer: a real bank just for young people.

It Soon Became a Reality:
In August 1987, Young Americans Bank opened in Denver, Colorado, as the world's only bank designed specifically for young people, ages 21 and under.  This was the real thing, a state-chartered, FDIC-insured bank where young people could learn financial responsibility through the use of banking products and services.  After all, their financial future and the future of our communities, states and nation was in their hands.

The Community Wanted More:
Young Americans Bank opened thousands of accounts in the first few months, and soon requests for tours, classes, and school presentations poured in.  There was clearly a need for educating young people about finances and economics. By 1988, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit was formed to provide programs to complement the bank's educational mission.  This nonprofit, now called Young Americans Center for Financial Education, provides a variety of hands-on programs for youth.  Our philosophy is to reach children with vital financial skills as young as possible through hands-on, "relevant to life" education.

How We've Grown:
From one small bank in 1987 to three program facilities in 2009, Young Americans continues to focus on the financial education needs of young people.  Our Denver headquarters, Rural AmeriTowne in eastern Colorado, and Belmar facility in Lakewood, Colorado, combined have the capacity to serve more than 60,000 young people annually.  Since inception we've served more than 60,000 Young Americans Bank customers and more than 340,000 nonprofit program participants.  

What the Future Holds:
Young Americans is committed to developing the financial literacy of young people.  We continue to enhance our current programs while exploring new opportunities to complement our mission.  As Bill Daniels once said, "Kids who learn early about simple economics, banking and personal finance have a huge head start on their peers and will become more financially aware as adults."

More than half of all high school students say they would like to own their own business someday.

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