University of Southern California

Marshall Student Advocates for Financial Literacy
Chirag Sagar '12 Honored at White House for his Work with MoneyThink
April 6, 2012 • by News at Marshall

A USC Marshall undergraduate student was among those honored at the White House on March 15 for his work on a pressing national issue—how to combat financial illiteracy by empowering high school juniors and seniors with the knowledge to understand personal finance.

Chirag Sagar ’12 is part of a national student movement called MoneyThink, which seeks to mentor urban high school students in financial life skills and entrepreneurship. The organization was established at the University of Chicago and includes 17 chapters at universities throughout the country.

MoneyThink was selected fifth in the nation in the Campus Champions of Change Challenge sponsored by the White House. The goal of the challenge is to recognize students organizations committed to social change and engagement.

Sagar was one of four members of MoneyThink to travel to Washington, D.C, where the top five Champions of Change winners were applauded for their efforts by President Barack Obama. More than 1,400 campus organizations applied for the challenge.

For Sagar, the founder of the USC MoneyThink chapter that includes 27 students and is advised by USC Leventhal Professor of Clinical Accounting Chrislynn Freed, the experience with the organization has been transformative.

"We believe that we can help out with the cause of helping students manage their money," said Sagar. "We believe that it doesn’t matter what you study or where you’re from, you need be able to take control of your money and understand basic financial concepts."

"Everything that l have learned at Marshall, I have applied to MoneyThink," said Sagar. "As I took marketing classes or entrepreneurship classes, I used those concepts to advance the work at MoneyThink."

Sagar plans to move to Chicago after he graduates in May to continue his work with MoneyThink on the national level as the director of chapter development for the organization.

"Our goal is to get chapters off the ground as quickly and efficiently as possible and find new ways to get into more urban high schools," said Sagar. "Our goal is to create core financial competency for high school students."

About the USC Marshall School of Business
Consistently ranked among the nation's premier schools, USC Marshall is internationally recognized for its emphasis on entrepreneurship and innovation, social responsibility and path-breaking research. Located in the heart of Los Angeles, one of the world's leading business centers and the U.S. gateway to the Pacific Rim, Marshall offers its 5,700-plus undergraduate and graduate students a unique world view and impressive global experiential opportunities. With an alumni community spanning 123 countries, USC Marshall students join a worldwide community of thought leaders who are redefining the way business works.