GLOW is a financial literacy and college financial planning curriculum. Along with the support of local mentors, the curriculum helps students overcome the challenges of financial literacy and funding, empowering them to apply to, attend, and graduate from college and reach their greatest potential. While learning the value of a college education, students also learn about the costs associated with higher education. They develop a personal budget projecting tuition costs and other expenses and identify sources of revenue, including financial aid, loans, scholarship opportunities, family contribution, and employment earnings.

GLOW is supported by a United Way Community Impact Grant. Here is a GLOW Success Story reported in our recent 4th quarter report:

Seniors graduating in 2019 completing the GLOW curriculum were better informed of financial matters ranging from budgeting to banking; from how to pay for college and what each of those opportunities mean to a student, their family, and the financial health of everyone involved. More students took to creating budgets for themselves (Pre Assessment score: 28% vs Post Assessment score: 50%) and more students had opened savings and/or checking accounts (Pre Assessment score: 63% vs Post Assessment score: 79%). In their own words, here are some student responses to the assessment question: How have you benefited from participation in GLOW this year? What was the best part?

  • I have benefited from GLOW by having the knowledge of how loans, grants and scholarships work in different ways. I developed different ways effectively save and budget my money to better fit my needs.

  • I have benefited from GLOW because I have now learned to effectively budget, save my money, and allowing me to make decisions to benefit me financially.

  • Learning about finances has really helped me understand the aspect of financial responsibilities.

The WCPS Education Foundation provided funding to begin a pilot program of the GLOW Financial Literacy and College Financial Planning Program at South Hagerstown High during the 2013-14 school year.

The program curriculum was piloted with 11th and 12th grade students who are enrolled in the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) elective course, in which students learn basic financial concepts such as:

  • Saving
  • Budgeting
  • Bank accounts
  • Credit/debit
  • Predatory lending
  • Planning/forecasting
  • Debt management

The WCPS Education Foundation has since expanded the GLOW curriculum to 9th through 12th grades at three of the county High Schools: North Hagerstown High School, Smithsburg High School, and South Hagerstown High School.


In addition to the classroom teacher, individuals from the local business and higher education communities serve as GLOW mentors. The classes are interactive and participatory with mentors providing valuable insight and small work- group guidance and support. If you would like more information about becoming a GLOW mentor, please contact Caren Cramer at 301-766-2925 or by email at Training is required.

GLOW Documents for Mentors

GLOW_Mentor Application_2019-2020

For more information about college & career readiness along with paying for post-secondary education visit: