The Economic Awareness Council is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose mission is to prepare students and families for the economic and financial decisions they will make both today and tomorrow. Meeting the needs of families and youth with limited resources is emphasized.
The EAC emphasizes skills development, behavior change and peer motivation. The organization approaches financial education through hands-on activities based in real world experiences. For example, in EAC programs youth learn about financial choices by budgeting as a mock family, by competing in investing simulations, by making their own banks and by preparing articles on financial topics for On the Money magazine. The EAC emphasizes a youth focused financial education approach where students learn about financial management from other teens and young adults through peer education and youth media. EAC evaluations consistently indicate that this approach is effective with over 9 out of 10 youth participants agreeing that they learned something new and gained information that they could use in the future in EAC programs.
The EAC's reach has grown dramatically in the 15 years since it was founded. The organization has increased its program attendance from approximately 50 in 2003 to over 25,000 in 2017. The EAC was selected by the Consumer Federation of America to lead the organization’s first statewide, youth focused saving initiative in 2010. Over 10,000 Illinois youth have pledged to save over $3,000,000 through this initiative. The organization was chosen as one of two initial non-profit partners of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in 2013.