Big Sean and Ally Financial have teamed up for a move that will impact generations.
Financial literacy is not always the topic of discussion in Black households because most times we’re just trying to get by. As the world continues to evolve, so do the resources that have been tucked away from Black people.
More and more companies and artists are buckling down on a commitment to bettering America by attacking systemic oppression that continues to hold not only adults back, but children too.
Essence reports that Big Sean and Ally Financial (Ally) are among those who are on a mission to close the racial wealth gap by meeting people on levels that resonate with them the most.
During the summer of 2019, Ally presented four interns from various Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) with the challenge to come up with a concept that would best teach middle schoolers about money in order to help prepare them for a financially stable life.
In 2019, the interns met each other in Detroit as competitors at the 2019 Moguls in the Making, a business pitch competition hosted by Ally, rapper Big Sean’s The Sean Anderson Foundation and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.
The rest is history as Fintropolis was birthed, with their help along with the popular gaming platform, Minecraft.
“They came up with a boss solution,” said the Detroit native in a press release. “Fintropolis is just one example of what HBCU students can do when given the resources and platform to support their dreams.”
Alabama A&M’s Erin Martin, Florida A&M’s Earl Perry and Keishon Smith, and North Carolina A&T’s DeMari Tyner knew that their concept and design for Fintropolis would be the best solution to helping Ally solve the issue with the financial wealth gap the continues to divide America.
Following the students’ field and research study and the presentation to the financial company, Ally brought Fintropolis to the market.
“Students who don’t learn how to handle money and make smart financial choices will have a tougher time throughout their lives,” said Smith, who was hired by Ally upon graduation. “Ally challenged us to find a solution, so we dug in and did our homework. We quickly realized to get middle schoolers to pay attention and learn, we have to make it fun and hands-on. I played Minecraft throughout school and knew how much kids of all backgrounds loved it. When we tested our concept on students, I wasn’t surprised to see how quickly they took to it.”
Thanks to some help from Ally’s concept development lab, TM Studio, and video game developer, Blockworks — Fintropolis came to life.
“When Erin, Earl, Keishon, and DeMari presented their idea we knew then and there we had to pursue it,” said Consumer and Commercial Banking President of Ally Bank, Diane Morais. “We have been experimenting with fun, interactive games as a powerful way to teach financial lessons and saw this as a possible cornerstone in that strategy. Now, Fintropolis has the potential to give millions of students the knowledge and confidence needed to make better money decisions, which can affect their lives in profound ways.”
Within the game, players can explore the Fintropolis world where they learn all about budgeting, building credit, earning money, managing debt, paying taxes as well as investing. The game also introduces users to various career paths and teaches the important lesson of early financial decisions having a lasting effect.
Minecraft: Education Edition also uses lesson plans to connect what’s learned through Fintroplis in the classroom.
Fintropolis is currently available to Minecraft users for free.