Virtual Book Launch June 8th


As you all know, I am ecstatic about the printing of the 2nd edition of 10 Things College Students Need to Know about Money! I’m so excited that for the first time ever I’m hosting a virtual book launch on Facebook. What is a virtual book launch you ask? Good question.  *wink*

A virtual book launch is an opportunity for you to ask me about the book, win some cool gifts and score an AMAZING discount on the book. I’m so excited.

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See you Wednesday, June 8th between 6:30pm and 8:30pm Pacific Standard Time.

Latino Author Summit 2014

This year that Latino Author Summit was held at CSU San Bernardino. There were authors, there were activities for the kidlets, there was singing, there was dancing and there were plenty of workshops.

Financial education speaker and author Shay Olivarria speaks during the panel on financial education for Latino youth.

Financial education speaker and author Shay Olivarria speaks during the panel on financial education for Latino youth.

The panelists pose for a photo at the Latino Author Summit.

The panelists pose for a photo at the Latino Author Summit.


I had the pleasure of closing out my Cross Country In A Ford adventure in San Diego. I delivered a free workshop entitled, “10 Money Tips for Students” based on my new book 10 Things College Students Need to Know About Money. We laughed, we cried, we …. well… we didn’t cry, but you know what I mean. You can view more of the workshop, see what vendors were there, and hear what participants had to say by visiting the Cross Country In A Ford site.

Here’s a clip from the workshop about finding a loan:

What Happened to Shay?

We went from Los Angeles to Atlanta and back in a 1994 Ford Aspire! Talk about adventure! LOL

I know it’s been a while since I posted on Bigger Than Your Block. For those of you that don’t know, I spent my summer driving cross country in a 1994 Ford Aspire to promote financial literacy! I know! Awesome, right? We had a great time and you can read more about my full adventures at Cross Country In A Ford.

In case you don’t have time to check out the full site, here’s the short version:
Left Los Angeles
Visited community college in Phoenix
Tire blew out in Alburquerque
Made it into Memphis and had Danika tell me I’m crazy for couch surfing
Tire almost blew in Jackson, Tn. Went to Wal-Mart to fix it and sold a book
AWESOME book signing at Nubian Books in Atlanta and the whole Atlanta trip was terrific
Visited HBCU row in Atlanta
Had two events in Jackson, MS and was interviewed on Naked Conversations Radio
Car died in Jackson, MS
Had first couch surfing adventure in Jackson, Ms with Pedro
Had second couch surfing adventure in Alexandria, La
Blew another tire on the 20W and spun out. Ended up on the other side of the service road and had to have the car towed into Dallas.
Visited Dallas and Ft. Worth and delivered a workshop to Promise House and did a book signing at The Dock Book Shop
Had our third couch surfing adventure in El Paso with Luis
Attended the Los Angeles Black Book Expo
I’m scheduled to deliver a free workshop for college students in San Diego Sept. 11

Read about the whole adventure here.

Whew! One last event and I’m done. Well, with the “official” financial literacy tour. I’m glad that I was able to meet so many people and that so many people were able to learn a bit more about personal finance. So many folks followed our adventures that I’ve decided to created a DVD and a book about all our adventures! The project has been accepted on to help us raise funds to create the DVD. I’m thrilled so many people are interested in personal finance and my work.

If you love my work, realize that I do it all for my community, my folks, mi gente. I’m just a kid from poverty that wants to help others avoid the money mistakes that I have made and that I’ve seen others make over the years.


10 Things College Students Need to Know About Money

10 Things College Students Need to Know About Money Book Cover

Available soon at retail stores for $15.

I’m thrilled that my new book, 10 Things College Students Need to Know About Money, will be available in 3 weeks. With all the changes to the personal finance landscape with the CARD Act and change in management of federal student loans, it’s more important than ever that college students understand personal finance.

There are 10 things that every college student needs to know. Click here to find out what they are..

Find out when Shay will be in your town.

HBCUs, College Costs, and Money – Why You Should Care

I just finished reading a post in the Higher Education blog about Historically Black Colleges and Universities and I’m fighting mad.

the six-year graduation rates of 83 four-year HBCUs last year, finding that just 37 percent of black students attained degrees within six years. More striking than the low completion rate was the fact that the national college graduation rate for black students is actually 4 percentage points higher than that of HBCUs collectively, calling into question the long-held notion that HBCUs are better at graduating African Americans.

It’s not only the fact that only 37% of students at HBCUS are graduating after 6 years that’s getting me riled up. The part that stuck out to me the most is:

Asked about graduation rates Thursday, Education Sector panelists suggested that funding levels could not be discounted as a significant drag on student success at HBCUs.

“A lot of that [graduation] rate …. is grounded in money, lack of money,” Wilson said.

Some HBCU officials say they still encounter hundreds of academically eligible students each year who drop out of college because their financial need cannot be met with Pell Grants and other aid. The vast majority of HBCUs have small endowments, so there isn’t a pot of money to dip into when financial challenges arise.

I take two things from this:

1) Many students of color rely on financial aid to pay for college costs. To make sure that students of color have access to the funds they need financial educators like myself have to:
– Make sure that parents have access to more information about saving for college early and regularly.
– Reach students to plan for college costs earlier.
– Help students of color save and aggressively seek scholarships and grants.
– Assist families of color in better understanding college costs and finding the school with the best fit for them.

2) Students that graduated from HBCUs aren’t supporting the colleges and universities financially as much as they could. I wonder if there is an opportunity to assist HBCU students, and potential graduates, in becoming more successful and understanding how their contributing to their alma maters contributes to building a strong community.

I think we all know the reasons we want more youth to have access to higher education. More young people in college means fewer young people getting into trouble with the law or getting stuck in low wage jobs. If we want our communities to be strong then we have to do what it takes to support others that are striving for positivity.

In an effort to reach more HBCU students I’m making an effort to share my new book 10 Things College Students Need to Know About Money with all 105 HBCUs in the United States. To kick things off I’ll be visiting Fayetville, Atlanta, Birmingham, Jackson, and Dallas-Ft. Worth this August.

Want Shay to visit your school? Call Shay!

Zahra’s Book Signing TODAY

Today I’ll be signing books at Zahra’s Books located at 900 N La Brea in Inglewood, CA. If you get a chance come on out! As a special bonus, those that buy books today will get the password to access 3 Financial Checklists to help your whole family get on the same money team. Happy Financial Literacy Month!

See you at Zahra’s at 2pm.

Shay Visiting Jackson, MS

This summer I’ll be touring the south promoting Money Matters: The Get It Done in 1 Minute Workbook. Thankfully, I have been able to connect with Cryus Webb at Conversations Book Club in MS. Cyrus is doing great work around reading. Please connect with him on Facebook.

I’ll be visiting with Conversations Book Club Tues. August 10, 2010:

* 9:30-10:30a.m. — Peeples Middle School (Jackson, MS)

* 11:30-12:30p.m. — Morrison Academic Center (Jackson, MS)

* 4-5:30p.m. — Pearl Public Library (Pearl, MS) — Meet and Greet

* 6-8p.m. — Appetizers Restaurant (3000 HWY 80 E * Pearl, MS) , discussion

Come on out and say, “hi”. You can also buy your book early and come with questions to the Meet & Greets.

Find out if Shay is visiting your state here. Don’t see your state, school, or book club listed? Invite Shay to visit your group by calling (323) 596-1843.