May 31, 2019

NGPF Podcast: Alex Todd Describes His 10 Year Journey to Bring Financial Education to All Kentucky High School Students

Alex Todd likes challenges. Whether that means building a financial education program from scratch at Elizabethtown High School in Kentucky or coaching the boy's basketball team to another winning season. His love of challenges and his passion for financial education created what many may have thought was an unattainable goal. That goal, to ensure that ALL high school students in Kentucky would take a personal finance course before leaving high school, became a personal quest. In this podcast, Alex describes his amazing decade-long journey, what motivated him to persist and what he learned along the way. Enjoy!


  • 0:00~1:16 Introduction
  • 1:16~3:02 Teaching at Elizabethtown High School
  • 3:02~6:06 Early money lessons
  • 6:06~12:43 Alex’s path of advocating for personal finance classes
  • 12:43~18:08 Advocating in front of the state senate
  • 18:08~18:27 A word from NGPF
  • 18:27~22:29 Difficulties faced when creating legislation
  • 22:29~25:46 The low points of advocacy
  • 25:46~26:38 Leveraging local media
  • 26:38~29:46 Advocacy tips for others
  • 29:46~31:30 Result of Alex’s advocacy
  • 31:30~33:47 Words of encouragement
  • 33:47~35:09 Conclusion


  • “This is not a controversial topic, it is not a political topic, and you’re not going to have to face those hurdles. But it still needs to be logical because you are changing something, graduation requirements, that has rarely changed over the course of history. It’s a big deal to change graduation requirements.”

  • “If you believe the parents are on your side and that the students want to take your course, it’s some hard work to pass legislation, but you’re right. At the end of the day, you’re right and keep fighting.”

  • “This is a significant issue we are battling here. For our kids, that’s is the only way to do it. We have to give them something I didn’t get coming through school that has affected my generation greatly. We know better now and we can do better.”

About the Authors

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.

Ren Makino

Ren started interning at NGPF in 2014, and worked part-time through high school and college. With his knowledge growing alongside NGPF, he joined the team to work full-time after graduating from college in 2020. He is also the producer of the NGPF podcast. During his free time, he likes to try out coffees from different roasters across the world.

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