CYPRESS, Calif. (KABC) --This week's ABC7 Cool Kid is Dan Ta, who founded a financial literacy club at his high school to help teach other students about budgeting and planning.
Dan said his family's personal challenges turned out to be motivational.
"My dad was going through financial trouble and as a whole family we all experienced that," Dan explained.
It was then the 17-year-old said he realized the importance of learning to manage money. He decided to found the Penny Wise Club at Oxford Academy in Cypress.
Dan admitted it was a little tough to get other students interested at first.
"I had to convince my friends to come like, 'Alright why don't you come to my meeting and I'll give you some food every time you come,'" Dan said.
Three years later the club was going strong and now Dan also puts together finance expos for his community.
"Financial literate is being able to understand the money and using the money to work for you, but also being able to value it and not spending it needlessly," Dan explained.
He even persuaded California State Treasurer John Chiang to attend one. The high school junior has been recognized as one of the 100 most influential people in Orange County.
Dan - who is also involved in the Boy Scouts - was invited to Washington where he met with former President Barack Obama.
"He talked to us individually and he gave me a fist bump," Dan recalled.
Besides academics, Dan is also an athlete who competes in track and soccer. Dan hopes his passion leads him to a career in economics or finance after he graduates from college.
Know an amazing young person making a difference in the community? Learn how to nominate them to be an ABC7 Cool Kid at abc7.com/coolkids.