What a summer, SOAR is thrilled to say that we were able to successfully run our summer programs! We had an amazing time in North Carolina, Wyoming, and Florida. A special thank you goes to all of our campers and their families for making this a summer to remember and one for the books!
We want to give a special shout-out to our newest 5th-year campers. This summer we had a total of 9! Becoming a 5th-year camper at SOAR means you are added to our totem pole which is showcased at our Balsam Base in North Carolina. You are also recognized at the first evening campfire with your group, receive a SOAR day-pack, and get a special certificate at the completion of camp. It is a huge accomplishment and we hope these alumni have had just as much fun as we have on these many adventures we’ve shared! THANK YOU to Cheryl, Cymone, Ivan, JJ, Katie, Lucie, Maxine, Maxx, and Rowan for your dedication, commitment, and for having fun with us for 5 summers. We are proud of each and every one of you!
SOAR’s 2021 5th-Year Alumni:
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Another huge congratulations to these campers, we look forward to their many adventures to come.
We look forward to seeing how many more of you will join the ranks of our 5th-year alumni next summer! If you are looking for a great new experience for next summer, click here to view all of the different sessions we are offering. If you are an alumnus, consider joining us for one of our specialty courses which include Florida SCUBA Openwater, Belize, and Spanish Immersion! And don’t forget about our Early Bird Special! If you register before November 25th you will get $250 off of your 2022 camp session (excluding Christmas Keys Adventure, Christmas Keys SCUBA, and Spanish Immersion).
If you know someone with ADHD, you are probably familiar with the struggles of making good financial decisions while managing ADHD-driven impulses. This is especially true for young people. Navigating new and heavy information like finances can be intimidating.
Fortunately, with a bit of help, and a lot of planning, teens and young adults can learn practical financial habits for the future and set themselves up for success later in life. Here are five ways to do just that.
Ask for Help
The most important thing to remember when tackling new challenges is that you are not alone. There is always someone to turn to for help with any aspect of your ADHD. SOAR is an excellent resource for finding dedicated ADHD coaches who can advise young people on life management skills, including finance and independence, as they transition into adults.
In addition to ADHD coaches, you can also turn to your parents or another trusted adult, and even therapists. Any of these people can set a positive example, share tips and habits that work for them, and help you figure out how to implement them in ways that work for you. Working with a therapist can help you address any financial trauma or hesitancy and combat the negative impulses associated with ADHD.
Name Your Financial Goals
Once you’ve got a good team of support and financial educators, it’s time to start identifying what you want to do with money. What are your short-term and long-term goals? These can include saving up for a new phone, buying your first car, or attending one of the SOAR Summer Camps. Naming your financial goals will help create a solid connection between your wishes and your finances.
If you’re 18 or older, it’s time to start building your credit so that you can eventually take out a mortgage or apply for a business loan. A secured credit card is a smart way to start. Though it requires an upfront deposit to guarantee the card, properly using it and paying it off is a safe and guided way to establish credit. And, with lower spending limits, the risk of impulse buying is already reduced. If you’re younger than 18, ask your parents if they’d be willing to add you as an authorized user to a card. This will start building your credit while your parents remain responsible for all of the purchases.
Identify Where You Struggle
ADHD affects everyone differently. So it’s important to know how your specific symptoms may impact your personal finances. For many people, impulsivity can become impulse spending. For others, a lack of organization can turn into a mountain of receipts and make tracking spending almost impossible.
Your existing control methods can be modified to work with your finances as well. Organize your financial tasks, like balancing your bank account or paying bills, into daily, weekly, and monthly checklists. If you have a debit card, put a special sticker on the card to remind you of your daily budget. Keep a picture of your money goal in your wallet or phone.
Research, Research, Research
The unfortunate truth about being responsible with your finances is this: It requires a lot of research. Don’t worry, though. Turn to your support group, and seek out ADHD-specific resources and advisors at high school and college.
You should also look for tools designed to address your specific concerns. There are actually financial education resources dedicated to people with ADHD. Though it can be challenging, acting mature with your finances is a huge first step in financial freedom and security.
Additionally, knowing how much things cost will help you properly budget. It will also teach you to take care of your belongings. When you get a car, research maintenance and repair costs. While budgeting up to $100 every few months for an oil change may seem costly, it can prevent engine damage that will cost much more. When you move into your first home, do the same. Knowing that even something as minor as a window replacement costs as much as $1,800 will likely encourage you to toss that baseball outdoors.
Technology Is Your Best Financial Friend
If you’re old enough to have a banking account, look for one with an intuitive website to help you track your monthly purchases and payments. Once you start paying bills — like your monthly Spotify subscription — you will have real-time insight into your monthly money habits. Using online banking also comes with the benefit of setting up automatic transfers to savings accounts and making automatic payments.
There are also apps that can help you track spending and saving by creating visual representations of where your money is going. These are fantastic tools to ensure you know how much you’ll need to save per day to reach your savings goals.
While people with ADHD may face unique challenges when it comes to money management, it’s nothing that can’t be overcome. And getting a head start on being responsible with money will be a huge boon when it comes time for you to become independent. Your future self will thank you!
About the Author
Ann Lloyd is a newly enrolled MBA grad student. Currently, she is getting her degree online and working as a marketing intern on the side. In her spare time, she’s hard at work on the Student Savings Guide, her blog about living a budget-conscious life. The guide caters to students and recent grads, but anyone can use these tips to get by!
“Good leaders must first become good servants” Rober K. Greenleaf
Forty-five years. Four and a half decades. Nearly half a century.
That is the amount of time SOAR has served youth and young adults with ADHD/LD. It is a substantial accomplishment, achieved by a lifelong commitment to service, and a dedication to a greater purpose.
In celebration of this 45-year achievement, we will spend the next 5 months exploring the legacy of SOAR. A legacy that isn’t something of the past, but one that is constantly evolving and adapting to meet the needs of today’s ADHD/LD community.
The story of SOAR began in 1977 with two individuals who devoted their lives to fostering positive growth in people by focusing on their strengths, instead of their deficits. These two individuals were Jonathan and Wandajean Jones.
Here in his own words, founder Jonathan Jones shares the origins of SOAR (excerpt from 2007):
“SOAR began as a class project for a college graduate course. The assignment was to design an outdoor education program for a special population. My own learning disabilities prompted me to choose the LD and AD/HD population as the focus of the model program. My supervising professor, Dr. Vincent Cyphers, liked the proposal and noted on the grading sheet – ‘Do you have what it takes to make this work?’ Never one to back down from a healthy challenge, I began looking for an opportunity to develop SOAR.
That opportunity came from the Spring ACLD, a support group for children and adults with LD and AD/HD, and their interest in developing a teen outreach program. Over the course of the next thirty years, SOAR moved from infancy to adulthood and experienced all of the growing pains along the way. The challenges were many, but the rewards far greater still in both scope and number.
SOAR’s success has always been linked to three guiding principles:
1) Give students ownership of the experience
2) Create experiences that build on student interests and enthusiasms
3) Success is the most powerful of motivators.
I am convinced SOAR’s future success, as the success of youth with LD and AD/HD will remain linked to these guidelines.”
University of Northern Colorado, 1970s. Jonathan Jones alma mater
In addition to focusing on strengths instead of deficits, Jonathan also was aware of the power of the outdoors. That the wilderness can be a place for personal growth, development, and most importantly— fun! Through the decades programming has included incredible once-in-a-lifetime experiences. In SOAR’s infancy, a few of the 70s programs included:
Gymnastics Program in Houston, TX
Outdoor classroom on Galveston Island
Weekend courses in the Texas Hill Country
Expeditions to Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP)
Instruction in snow and ice techniques for expeditions
Our approach of focusing on strengths instead of deficits, along with incredible outdoor adventures, has been critical to ensuring the success of thousands of campers and students throughout our 45 years. The best part, we are just getting started!
Would you like to be a part an integral part of our mission? You have the ability to change the life of an ADHD/LD child. Please consider donating $45 for our 45 years. As a 501(C)(3) nonprofit, your donations will be used for our Scholarship Endowment Fund. We envision a day when any child with a learning or attention challenge will have an opportunity to experience these life-changing adventures. We thank you for your continued support and interest in SOAR! Next month, the 80s!
SOAR is an authorized permittee of the National Park Service and the National Forest Service. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in its programs on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, or marital or family status. To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (202) 720-5964 (voice and TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.