A2 Basic US 177 Folder Collection
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(melodic piano music)
- [Wall Street] We gonna go ahead and get situated.
This is the finance program, and we always like to see new faces.
- [Rahsaan] When you come to Wall Street's
financial literacy class, you're gonna see people
with tattoos and dreds, and just people you
normally wouldn't expect to see learning finance.
You're gonna see people with all different backgrounds
looking for hope.
He makes it universal.
(melodic piano music)
- If I tell you I'll give you the 50 bucks,
but I want you to pay me back $50 in interest,
what you gonna say?
- I'm gonna say "no." - You gonna say what?
- No. - And why you gonna say no?
- They call me Wall Street because I teach
all of the financial classes here at San Quentin.
I've been teaching financial education for about 10 years now.
I am in prison for participating in a robbery-murder,
and I was sentenced to 54 years to life in prison for that crime,
and I've been incarcerated now for 22 years.
These are the stocks that I picked,
MasterCard, I got at 89, they're at 200.
- Wall Street came to prison illiterate.
He doesn't have a college education to these day;
he only has a GED, and yet, this guy is successfully
trading from prison.
- Marcelli, who had come from juvenile hall with me,
he would read the sports page to me, he'd be like,
man, go get it; and I'll read it, and I grabbed the paper,
and I was like, I got it.
When I turned around, an older guy said, "Hey, man
"you play the stock market?"
And I realized that I picked up the business section
instead of the sports page.
I was like, ah, man, and I asked him
what the stock market was, and he told me, he said,
that's the place where white folks keep all their money.
And that's when I really first discovered the stock market.
So, I started teaching myself how to read.
Family or friends on the outside opened up
online brokerage accounts, and I basically told them
what to buy and when to buy and when to sell.
And it was just simply, it was really just that easy.
This is the finance program,
but I don't teach about finance.
I teach financial empowerment emotional literacy.
That's what I teach.
So, I think financial education is important
for incarcerated people, given that the crimes
that are committed are financially motivated and driven.
When I learned about financial education myself,
I thought that would be something that other men
in my same situation could benefit from.
And so now the program teaches incarcerated men
how to better manage their emotions and relations
to their financial standing.
So, you gotta weigh your strategies
when you're talking about giving yourself room
to start saving money.
- When you're traumatized you do a lot of things
you don't know why you're doing them.
And that happens with finance, too.
I suffered a lot of trauma in my life,
and my trauma culminated in me murdering a man.
So, while this is very important to me because I do need
to manage my money and manage my life,
what's most important is that I'm managing
my emotional responsibilities, because the last time
I didn't do that, a man lost his life.
- I don't think you can have full rehabilitation
without financial education.
I can make amends for the crimes that I've done,
I can even stop doing the things that I've done,
but I think for people who were criminals,
when you empower those people, and they know
that they don't have to commit a crime like I did,
when I learned I didn't have to commit crime,
it was like, wow, I can really make something of my life
and not have to be a criminal.
(melodic piano music)
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The Inmate Teaching Finance Behind Bars

177 Folder Collection
Samuel published on July 4, 2018    陳昶廷 translated    Evangeline reviewed
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