The Student News Site of Marlborough School

The UltraViolet

Marlborough School Student Newspaper
The Student News Site of Marlborough School

The UltraViolet

The Student News Site of Marlborough School

The UltraViolet

Desai is making strides for financial education

Students learn from Ela’s financial literacy curriculum. Ela Contributing Photographer.

Ela ’24 is graduating this year with not only a diploma, but also her own business. Pocket Change is a non-profit organization created by Ela to improve financial literacy in young girls.

Ela joined Honors Research in Science in 10th grade where she began her research on neuroeconomics and financial decision-making. She soon discovered that resources to teach girls about personal finance were often unavailable and geared toward the male brain.

“I became really interested in teaching financial literacy from a perspective that’s geared towards women and how girls learn best,” Ela said.

Throughout 10th and 11th grades, Ela hosted workshops on personal finance for local schools and groups of girls in different communities, including the Boys & Girls Clubs. Ela held her first workshop at her house in August 2022 where she taught her younger sister and her friends about financial literacy and then gave them flyers to spread the word to the larger community.

However, over the past two years, Ela has pivoted her work to create and market a board game teaching personal finance. The board game is aimed at children ages 8-10 and is a simplified mix of Monopoly and the Game of Life. Players are given a starting income and roll dice as they decide to spend or save their money on both mandatory and materialistic costs throughout one year. 

“The game teaches concepts in budgeting, saving and a lifestyle-work balance,” Ela said. “It also teaches that things may cost money and also bring you joy, but some things don’t cost money and can still bring you joy.”

Ela believes that Marlborough’s facilities and resources have greatly assisted her work. Leonetti/O’Connell Honors Research in Science Program Head Allison Ponzio allowed Ela’s research to be flexible in terms of focusing her research on developing her board game. Additionally, Ela was a recipient of the Bloom Grant, which is a grant provided by the Corner Cafe to support  students’ entrepreneurial ventures.

“I feel like Marlborough has had a crazy supportive infrastructure for entrepreneurship,” Ela said. “I don’t think that many places [let] you get an entrepreneurship education or even hear about entrepreneurship.”

Ela plans on continuing to work on Pocket Change in college. She hopes to have her board game available online within the next couple of months.

“One of the things I want to do in college is to join groups focused on community outreach for local schools,” Ela said. “Also, as a personal passion, I want to continue to teach financial literacy in schools.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to The UltraViolet

Your donation will support the student journalists of Marlborough School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Jade 25, Co-Managing Editor
Donate to The UltraViolet

Comments (0)

All The UltraViolet Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *