Carol L. Stokes is a lawyer, consultant, presenter, and author. She has authored three books, two of which are teen finance management books. Stokes, creator of My BFF, is an attorney of almost 25 years. Approximately, 5 years into filing and managing consumer bankruptcy cases as an attorney, Stokes learned there is a large financially illiterate population. She, further, discovered too many children are growing up in households with those who live by this “live today, worry tomorrow” motto. The children in these households, in turn, learn by example to mismanage their finances. Taking stock of the number of “generational” bankruptcy clients she had, Stokes became determined to break this cycle of poor financial management. For more than 10 years, Stokes has been conducting basic finance management workshops, as well as other personal development workshops, creating workshop materials, and speaking and presenting to teens, young adults and older adults.
Hands-on, practical exercises for that simulated experience constitute Stokes' approach to delivering the basic foundation needed. When Stokes began researching the need for teen finance management materials, there minimal resources for more complex concepts, such as tax-related and investment principles. Given her experience with thousands of bankruptcy clients and the lack of elementary information on the market, Stokes focused on providing a foundation of basic finance concepts and principles on which youth can grow into more involved concepts. Stokes’ style, consequently, entails defining, explaining, demonstrating and reviewing key finance concepts and principles via examples, hypotheticals and role-playing. After some presentation, discussion and question-and-answer segments, more exploration and review of principles and practices take place in groups. Youth are split up into groups of “families.” Stokes gives each family checks, checkbook register sheets, a glossary and a calculator. She Families gives them a range of assignments to complete. All materials are Stokes’ original creations. All workshops and presentations begin with exploring what each child desires to be and accomplish. It is Stokes’ belief that self-worth completely affects how far to the sky a child attempts to reach. All workshops and presentations conclude with reviewing each child’s short-term and long-term goals. Each participant, then, is given a Certificate of Achievement and a copy of one of Stokes' teen finance management books. The goal is to have each child feel validated to want to be all that child can be! This validation helps to build the self-esteem that will affect the life and money decisions and plans youth will make. Stokes encourages each teen be her/his very own BFF!
Stokes considers it an honor to conduct workshops and presentations in various communities throughout the state. Stokes had the honor and privilege of presenting at the Georgia 2nd Annual Afterschool and Youth Development Conference, 2014.
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Georgia Juris Doctorate, Walter F. George School of Law
Stokes is a lawyer, consultant, presenter, and author. She has authored three books, two of which are teen finance management books. Please, learn more about Stokes and her resources at CarolLStokes.com.