Last week I discussed the critical importance of financial literacy.  Continuing the importance of learning, I asked a good friend, Deb Grubbe, for her thoughts.


By: Deborah L. Grubbe, PE, CEng


“I sat in a class of 50 kids for my total 8 years of Catholic education.   The size of the classroom and the rank of the system means absolutely nothing if the student is disciplined, the teachers are devoted, and the principals and parents are supportive.   I was never denied an opportunity to do extra credit, etc.  I pushed myself to learn because learning was fun – it opened up new ways to think about the world.   In fact, my mother took me to the Lombard public library every Tuesday night whether I wanted to go or not.   Why???  Because she thought books were important and she wanted to tell me that learning is important.   She also wanted to make sure that she got books to read on the train on her way to work!    The kids’ floor was upstairs, and she let me go and work out my own stuff upstairs while she picked out her books for the week.   It was a special time where I was able to learn, grow and explore in my own way and in my own direction.   Girl Scouts also helped me with that, too.   I learned there that I could take more initiative…….and that plus the learning fed me – in a sense.”



“Not all learning happens in school.  In fact, school should be, in my view, teaching the student how to learn on their own.   Teachers could be called “learning enablers.”  I learn the best when I have to think more and struggle a little bit.   The struggle tells me that I am learning something new and that the focus to learn is a challenge to overcome.  In fact, if the subject is too easy, you have to ask yourself the question if you are really learning something worthwhile!


People learn in different ways:   By reading about it, by listening to someone explain it, by thinking about it, by talking about it with someone else, by doing it themselves and by watching someone else do it.   Everyone has a tendency towards one or two ways to learn that work best for them.   Have you thought about which of these are the most fun ways for you to learn?   For me it is reading about the subject and then watching someone else do it where I can learn the fastest.   I also like to ask questions of the person who the expert is, if that is possible.   A good question is when an instructor really knows that the student is thinking!


A lot of learning happens outside of school.    Some examples are: Boy Scout and Girl Scout activities and projects, Church activities and projects, volunteering to be a Big Sister or a Big Brother,  helping a neighbor with a job that takes more than one person, or volunteering at a local hospital to help nurses or to help families.  In fact, this learning can be most important, because it is learning by DOING!


Additionally, any type of work can be a learning activity:  stocking shelves, laying bricks, finishing concrete, building a house, cleaning a floor, taking fast food orders, cooking food, working as a safety resource, or designing a new bridge.  The list is endless of work tasks that we can learn from.   The key question you have to keep in mind is how can I do this task “better” the next time?   And “better” has different meanings for different people.   So, sometimes, that is a learning in itself!


Communicating with others is also a way to learn about learning:  Reading announcements out loud allows you to practice diction and pronunciation.  Writing notes or composing text messages allows you to learn to practice spelling and other critical elements that support your ability to comprehend.   It takes practice to learn how to speak in front of large groups, and the first thing you need to be comfortable with is your use of language.   Once you have the language down, then you can begin to learn about microphones, lighting, video and other key elements of good presentations.


Teachers can only get you started on your learning journey.   They cannot and should not teach you everything.  There is a real sense of accomplishment of being able to teach yourself and then to successfully demonstrate a skill.   In fact, the opportunities for the future workforce will be skill building.   The people who can effectively learn skills quickly will be the most employable and will most likely enjoy the most success.”


CONCLUSION – Styron Powers


The below test results are frightening:  On 2019, national tests only 18 percent of black 4th-graders scored proficient or greater in reading.  Let that sink in, 18 percent of 4th-grade, black kids in the U. S. can read at a MINIMUM of a 4th grade level.  For white 4th-graders, 45 percent scored proficient or greater in reading.  For 8th graders, the percentages dropped to 15 and 42 percent.  The U. S. K-12 education system is broken and failing, especially for minority and poor children.  

If you are waiting for Democrat or Republican Politicians, or the Easter Bunny, to fix this decades long problem, I expect Elon Musk will be living on Mars before that happens!

As our nation is battling the question of racial equality, we must first solve education inequality.  Below is a diagram of my education journey.



The most important education I received started before I sat in a classroom.  It started with Mom and Dad, my brother and family. It started with the strong, intelligent role models in my family.  Mom and Dad taught me financial literacy at an early age and I have kept learning, so I could excel at the one job that brings me joy – Being a Dad!  Education is the preparation necessary to earn income.  Be it as a Plumber, Electrician, Brain Surgery, Fire Fighter or whatever your child is passionate about and incites a life long journey of self-improvement. Too many U. S. Public schools are failing to educate our kids to minimum standards.  It is the responsibility of parents to close any gaps we see. We must gently encourage and if necessary, shove our kids to learn.


Please stop believing the myth brought to you by colleges and banks that every child needs to attend some expensive college where majority of what little Suzy learns is a complete waste of her time and dollars.




For those searching for a means to help close the racial equality gap, donate your hard-earned money towards organizations that help boost education in the black and brown communities.  YMCA, YWCA, Charter Schools, Local Organizations like Chicago’s:



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I am a proud nerd (as my beautiful wife and daughter have told me) investment and finance blogger, with a NC State, Chemical Engineering, University Rutgers, MBA and Harvard University, Advanced Management education.

I left a corporate career because I had a desire for making a difference as a speaker and writer, to help others. I was blessed to be coached and mentored by strong women and men in both my family and professional life.  It is my time to serve and give back.


I started my first business at ~13 years of age (small but brilliantly created plant nursery). I am a successful investor in stocks, options, real estate and happy to share my personal finance and investment lessons learned with you.

However, I am NOT a licensed financial advisor.  Please do not construe my suggestions on this blog, as recommendations for your personal situation.  For individual finance advice please seek your own licensed CPA or fiduciary financial advisors.  

I write this weekly blog to make an impact by reaching an audience and demonstrating the need for financial literacy. I will help you get there.











Adults prefer fun activities versus work, so of course kids prefer playing some game on their iPhone versus doing their homework.  Or looking at another hour of some mindless reality show (my daughter loved TRASHY reality shows).  As the adults, we have the responsibility to focus our kids’ time and effort on reading writing, math that nasty thing called homework and studying.  It is the mastery of delayed gratification that will allow our kids to become independent successful adults (and MOVE OUT). Help every day with their school work.  Challenge them to read more than minimum requirements. Set an example and read with them. When I saw my Mom work a full-time job and take care of her family and still find time to read a book, to read the newspapers and magazine, it encouraged me to do the same. My discipline and motivation to learn came from two hard working, intelligent, parents who instilled – A passion for reading and learning.   To this day, I love to learn and master new challenges for my own continuous improvement.



Powers Investments Management, LLC

This blog will provide, information and simple strategies, that will assist you to achieve YOUR financial objectives and long term targets. For over 30 years, I solved multi-million dollar problems, for Fortune 10-250, companies. My formal education includes: Business, Finance and Chemical Engineering {Problem Solving} at: Harvard, Rutgers and North Carolina State. And an additional 30+ years, managing my family’s investment decisions. I currently manage/advise people with net-worths ranging from the tens of thousands to several million dollars.

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