Ricky| 19 | Portland

Ricky in Portland, OR

Photo credit: Cara Hopkins

Is the American economic system fair?
That’s deep. Shoot. I think compared to other countries, I’d say we’re holding up pretty well. But I have some friends from Australia here and they’re loaded. The money they have—they’re not so rich over there, but it can get them really far here. I guess it’s just a matter of where you’re from. For the most part, I think our poverty isn’t as bad as other countries. I’m from Venezuela, but even though they’re living in poverty, they’re the happiest people in the world—so, I don’t know.

Do you feel like you can make it here?
I feel like I have a lot more opportunity than most people. I use my mom as an example; she came to America when she was 17 and had like no money. And she lived with other families, worked two jobs, got in school by taking out a bunch of loans and she made it. She owns her own business now. I think it comes down to who you are as a person—how motivated you are to go get it.

[Any reference to a specific company, commercial product, process or service does not constitute or imply an endorsement or recommendation by the National Endowment for Financial Education.]