A business veteran gives back: William Granville's dream of educating inner-city youth lives on after 25 years.

Author:Townes, Glenn
Position:Black Wealth Initiative: SECURING YOUR FINANCIAL FUTURE


Declaration of Financial Empowerment

From this day forward. I declare my vigilant and lifelong commitment to financial empowerment and hereby pledge the following:

1 I will use homeownership as a foundation for building wealth.

2 I will be proactive in managing my budget, credit, debt, and tax obligations.

3 I will maximize my earnings potential, live within my means, and commit to saving and investing at least 10% of my income.

4 I will ensure that my investments are properly diversified and correspond to my current financial goals.

5 I will immediately commit to a program of retirement planning and investing.

6 I will preserve and protect my assets through proper financial and insurance planning.

7 I will ensure that my children receive a thorough education on financial and business matters.

8 I will ensure that my wealth is passed on to future generations through proper estate planning.

9 I will actively support the creation and growth of viable, competitive blackowned enterprises.

10 I will use a portion of my wealth to strengthen my community.

WILLIAM GRANVILLE JR. IS ON A MISSION. His task: Combating financial and business illiteracy among the nation's youth. "There's a need for a wealth-creation culture in our community," says Granville. "By empowering our youth with this philosophy, African Americans could enjoy the benefits that financial freedom brings."

Granville, 67, a former Mobil executive, says his motivation to open New Jersey-based Granville Academy, an after-school program focused on financial and business education, stemmed from his troubled youth. As a teen, he became entangled in gang life. "I spent time in juvenile detention centers and was already on probation for fighting and other gang activities," he says. "After a serious brawl, I expected to be sent away for a long time."

The experience was a wake-up call for young Granville, who quickly cleaned up his act. He went on to earn a high school diploma and graduated from Delaware State University in 1962 with a degree in mathematics. While in college, Granville took an interest in finance and business. After graduation, he worked as a mathematician with the Ballistics Research Laboratory in Aberdeen, Maryland. Soon after, Granville landed a job as a mathematician at Mobil Oil Corp. (which later merged with Exxon to form ExxonMobil) in the mid 1960s. He retired from the company in 1998 as a regional executive Vice president after 30 years of...

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