WYSO

The Best Of Dayton Youth Radio: The Darnell System

Jan 30, 2020

Many parents want their teenagers to be financially responsible, and when Darnell Terry was a student at Ponitz Career Technology Center, he said he had it all figured out. 

I'm about budgeting my money so I can have a better life than most people I know. I go to school and have two jobs and I help out at my dad's car wash. I make a nice piece of change, and I guess you could say I'm saving it for a rainy day. I pay my own phone bill and car insurance. I was raised to budget my money from a young age by my dad. My freshman year of high school, my dad took me to a credit union and we opened up a bank account for me. I started out with just one hundred bucks.

Me and my brothers are the 4D’s. My dad name is Darryl. I have another brother named Darryl,  Durell and then it’s me, Darnell. We are all tight with our money.

Now, let me tell you, there are a lot of things that my generation blows money on such as designer clothes like Rock Revival jeans, True Religion jeans, Affliction shirts, anything that can get you a lot of likes on Instagram or Facebook is what a lot of people are now blowing their money on. Take my boy Jabri, for example. He spends his money mostly on food like fast food. Every time we hang out, he always wants to get something to eat. If I go to a gas station right now, he will get out the car with me and go get a super donut.

"I spend money on Subway, pizza," says Jabri. "I buy a lot of snacks, you know, Applebee's, Roosters..."

And then there's my other best friend, Gino. He's on a basketball team with me, and Gino likes to spend his money on the shorties. Well, I mean, his girlfriend.

"Man, I try to get everything she asks for. She's just so pricey," says Gino. "You know how girls are these days. They want everything in Victoria's Secret. Now I try to get her everything, that's my baby."

I asked Gino how he gets his money.

"Man, I just get it," he says. "What I do is work over the summer, stack up, save it. I do the clock sometimes at the basketball game. I might ask my dad for a couple dollars here and there. I really don't ask my mom and dad for much, though."

I really don't know how Gino gives his money or where he gets it from, but he doesn't borrow any from me. I got rules about if you borrow money from me because I don't get my money out a lot, but if I do, I only can loan you ten dollars.

There's this one girl named Jalen, the first girl went on a date with. When we went on our date, I had enough money for my meal, plus a tip and her meal. But I really wasn't worried about if she went over to budget. I had a debit card for backup.

I have three main dating rules for teenagers called The Darnell System: Rule number one, always budget out your money. I took out $20 from my budget and went out to a chicken joint in Dayton just to kick it. Rule number two: never, I mean, never let the date pick up the check.. And three: the main thing is to be honest, because if your girlfriend is willing to date you when you're broke, she's real. She's there for you. She's committed. And yes, my girl is committed, even though I haven't gone broke yet. We've been going out for 2 to 3 months since then, and I've been paying for everything so far. But that's my job to pay for everything. Want to know why? Because I'm the man, and I do not like the waiters asking for two checks.

Darnell Terry is a graduate of Ponitz CTC High School. Darnell is currently a student at Wright State University, majoring in Media Studies. In his spare time he earns money as a local concert and event promoter in Dayton. Thanks to Ponitz Radio media arts instructors Joanne Viskup and Jeffrey Crowell. Learn more at the school's website: http://ponitzctc.org. Dayton Youth Radio is supported by the Virginia W. Kettering Foundation, the Vectren Foundation and the Ohio Arts Council. 

This story was created at the Eichelberger Center for Community Voices at WYSO.