Danielle Pascarella is the Co-Founder and Co-President of Blingitt, a nonprofit organization based in New York City that aims to provide teens and young adults who are starting to enter the workforce with basic financial literacy education and career mentorship. She is also former President of the University of Florida's Entrepreneurship Club, where she led the organization to win the title of "Student Organization of the Year," which is awarded annually by a committee of faculty members from UF's Warrington College of Business.
Why was Blingitt created?
Pascarella created Blingitt in 2013 along with one of her colleagues from JPMorgan, Julisa Salas. As young financial professionals, Pascarella and Salas found that their friends from high school and college would constantly contact them with basic financial questions, like "how do I raise my credit score so that I can get approved for this apartment?" Many of their friends had never received a basic education in financial literacy, and their lives were being negatively impacted as a result. Some were even stuck living at home after college graduation, struggling to pay off credit card debt at a ludicrously high interest rate because they didn't know how to create and stick to a budget. Pascarella and Salas decided to take action and do something about the problem by creating Blingitt.
What makes Blingitt unique?
Blingitt's curriculum is developed and maintained by Wall Street professionals who help corporations and wealthy individuals manage their finances every day. The organization's teachers are all young analysts and associates at top financial firms like JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, and Citigroup who are close enough in age to students to relate to them, yet experienced and knowledgeable enough in their careers to deliver a realistic, interactive, and memorable curriculum to students. Most importantly, Blingitt's teachers are passionate about finance and helping others, and they focus on making the learning experience fun and useful for students.
How is Blingitt doing today?
Blingitt is finishing up it's pilot year, where the organization worked with Harlem Village Academies, Cathedral High School, and Middlebury College to test its curriculum and make sure it's something that really benefits students. The feedback has been excellent, and now that they've proven their concept, the organization is ready to expand its volunteer base and number of partner organizations. Blingitt will begin working with the Inner City Scholarship Fund, New York University, and several other new partners this spring.
Check out the organization's official website at www.blingitt.org!