Old enough to drive, but not old enough to rent a car: meet Du’mier Banks
Sixteen year-old Du’mier Banks, of Mount Vernon, NY, will be eligible to get his driver’s license this December, but he will be forced to wait another year before he can legally rent a car from Enterprise or any other rental car company. The reason? Du’mier Banks is not old enough to rent because he does not have his own credit card.
What’s your age got to do with it
Eighth grader Du’mier Banks has learned the hard way that in order to be able to rent a car, he will have to wait until he’s 18. The Philadelphia eighth grader tried renting from Enterprise Rent-A-Car and was rejected because of his age.
I tried going on the website and it said I couldn’t do it because I was too young, said the 13-year-old. He then went into an Enterprise location and was told that if he was under 18, he would need his guardian’s consent or his parents’ consent. I said my mom is here with me and she told me no.
Parenting in the digital world
It’s heartbreaking when our children grow up too quickly and we find ourselves telling them what they can’t do. But the reality is that we are living in the world of digital natives and they need to be aware of some things that might happen. Du’mier Banks is 9 years old, he can drive, but he’s not allowed to rent a car because he isn’t 18 yet.
This is just one example of how young people are expected to take on adult responsibilities in this day and age. We live in an overly-protective society where even our children aren’t allowed the same freedoms that our parents had growing up.
Telling their own stories Du’mier Banks
Du’mier is 18 years old and has been driving since he was 16. He always has his license in his pocket, just in case. One day he found out that he needed to be 25 years old or have an adult with him to rent a car. It was so frustrating, says Du’Mier. I felt like they were telling me I wasn’t grown. Like I had no power over my life, said Du’mier.
It was the same for Sheri, a college graduate who is 24 years old and working as a barista at Starbucks. She went into the Starbucks where she works one day to find all the employees there being given new uniforms – including pants – while she got nothing because of her age.
I work here every day, she told her manager when he asked why she couldn’t wear the new uniform.
The power of social media
Social media is one of the most powerful tools at the disposal of any given person. Without it, we would never know what our friends were up to or how they were feeling. We would never be able to share photographs of ourselves or tell people where we are in the world. With it comes great responsibility and as such, there are many rules and regulations which govern how we should behave on social media platforms.
For example, Instagram has guidelines for who can post certain types of content (those who are under 13 years old cannot post photos without approval from their parent) and what kind of content is allowed (photographs that depict nudity). It is also against Instagram’s rules to use fake usernames or pretend to be someone else.
As such, when Du’mier Banks posted a photograph on his Instagram account with him driving an expensive sports car while identifying himself by his real name, he was doing something which violated these guidelines. He received a warning from Instagram stating that he was breaking the company’s terms and conditions.
Financial literacy education Du’mier Banks
The newest addition to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list is Du’mier Banks. Who is he? He’s an 18-year-old entrepreneur and founder of Future Black Kids. Future Black Kids teaches younger children about financial literacy through fun and games. We’re teaching them how money works by playing Monopoly, said Du’mier. But you have to have different rules because if someone gets all the money in Monopoly, they just pass it on.
The group hopes that young people will understand why it’s important for them to invest in their futures now so that they don’t feel the same pressures when they become adults.
Du’mier was recently featured on MTV’s My Teen Is Pregnant And So Am I where he discussed his first pregnancy scare at 12 years old. Although his mom was initially mad when she found out what happened, she quickly supported him after realizing that this experience could teach him valuable lessons about sex education and sexual responsibility – as well as saving for college.
Revamping our public school system
The public school system in the United States has been an area of heated debate for decades. Some argue that public schools are the backbone of our democracy and that they provide an equal opportunity for all children regardless of family income or race. Others argue that public schools are failing our students in a number of ways, including by teaching subjects with low standards and failing to prepare students for college or the workforce.
The truth is, we need both strong public schools as well as other educational opportunities such as charter schools so that every child can have access to a quality education. Without this sort of vision for our future, we risk being left behind as other countries continue to improve their education systems at higher rates than ours. As a result, it’s important that we address some of the issues facing our public school system.
For example, the racial disparity in funding between districts and states impacts how well those schools are able to serve students from lower-income families. These factors create barriers for young people getting ahead while they struggle just to stay afloat in poverty.