Teen Raps About Financial Responsibility04:49
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It's a hip hop song you might not expect to hear from a teenager.

Syretha Shirley, a sophomore at Centennial High School in Las Vegas, won a contest challenging teens to write about financial responsibility.

It was sponsored by the Charles Schwab Foundation and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, which offers a course called "Money Matters."

In the song, 16-year-old Shirley raps about having a savings account and using a debit card instead of a credit card. She also writes about resisting pressure to buy expensive things that other students might have.

"It never phased me at all, how they flashed the diamonds and chains, got the Gucci suits on, the so-called finer things. See I don't need Louie or Prada to feel like a million dollars, discount aisle is where I went. Got to have a little bit of fashion sense," she raps.

Shirley says having money troubles growing up has made her more independent, saving money by babysitting, braiding hair, and selling candy at school.

"I knew what it was like not to have anything or have money, so that kind of forced me or motivated me to do things on my own," she told Here & Now's Robin Young.

Shirley won $500 and an all-expenses-paid trip to Atlanta to have her song and a music video produced professionally.

Guest:

  • Syretha Shirley, a sophomore at Centennial High School

This segment aired on April 18, 2012.

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