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Money Diaries: Living at home while finishing school

Credit Under CC license from Flickr user 401(K)

For the next few weeks, KALW News will be presenting stories from young people in Oakland, talking about their relationships with money. It’s part of a collaboration with the Oakland-based nonprofit Game Theory Academy, which works with low-income youth to improve their economic decision-making skills. Independent producer Lisa Morehouse worked with students at Game Theory Academy to record their experiences, in pieces we’re calling Money Diaries. 

In this segment, we meet LaKeva Brown. Last fall when she recorded this, LaKeva was 19, going to Heald College and living in a little apartment in back of her parents’ house. On the day we first meet her, LaKeva’s home for the day. Her dad is watching a football game in the living room, and her mom is doing laundry.

LaKEVA BROWN: I just came back from a job interview. Hopefully, they call me back. I had a job interview in Berkeley at Adidas store and I’m really excited about it. I really, really want that job. Although it’s kind of out of the way. I want that job. I have another interview tomorrow. I need someone to call me. I’m kind of broke.

And, I just found out today that I have some plans this weekend, but no money to really go. I come from a home where my mom and dad never hands over money. ... You have to work for your money. And it’s been like that ever since I can walk and wanted to go places by myself. I never could get anything free.

I’m fortunate enough. My rent, basically, is to go to school and maintain passing grades. But I’m on the honor roll. That’s why they’re a little bit lenient with me.