Our Story

Curtis Wall Street Carroll arrived in prison as an illiterate 17 year old. After learning to read, he taught himself how to trade stocks; made a few thousand on his first trade, and then started teaching others. During his early classes on the prison yard, Wall Street taught incarcerated people how to make money through stock investments. After the 2008 financial crisis, he realized that he was teaching people who not only lacked financial capital about investing, but also lacked the ability to manage smaller issues like their eating habits and self-expression. Realizing that financial prosperity was a byproduct of a healthy lifestyle, Wall Street created FEEL as a tool to identify the emotional needs and feelings that motivate actions in order to succeed in all aspects of life: financially, professionally, and personally.

The Philosophy

Financial Empowerment Emotional Literacy, FEEL, is designed to teach people how to recognize the influence of their emotions on their financial decisions. FEEL is not a set of skills we teach, it’s a life style that we live.  A person that can properly manage their eating habits, their time, and their relationships can also properly manage their finances. The financial component of FEEL is built around the four timeless rules: Saving effectively, Borrowing properly, Controlling your cost of living, and Diversification by allowing your money to work for you instead of you working for it.

Emotional spending is a result of people’s secondary needs for power, beauty, love, and choices. Unlike peoples primary needs for air, food,  and shelter; these needs are rooted into the way people save, borrow, control costs, and diversify. FEEL helps people both to identify their needs and to identify the feelings surrounding these needs. Feelings dictate reckless spending habits and until people identify these feelings they will never get what they’re really paying for.

Meet the Team

ANNA PONS

Executive Director

Anna is the executive director for FEEL. She received a BA in philosophy from Brooklyn College and a MA in philosophy from San Francisco State University. Anna previously taught critical thinking at SF State and worked for Rubicon Programs, providing employment services to residents of Alameda County. She began volunteering at San Quentin as a direct response to her father’s own incarceration and has since committed herself to working with impacted individuals both inside prisons and in society. Anna grew up in the Bay Area and currently lives in Richmond, CA.

ALEXANDRA GOLDSMITH

Communications Associate

Space

Alexandra is a communications associate for FEEL. She has a BA in theater from Suffolk University and a MA in psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies. She has volunteered in adult prisons for over four years and has worked as a behavior therapist for autistic children. Alexandra brings great compassion and empathy to the team, and is passionate about bringing FEEL to early childhood education. Alexandra grew up in the Bay Area and currently lives in Oakland, CA.

Advisory Board

Curtis Wall Street Carroll

Emile DeWeaver

Joe Hancock

Rahsaan Thomas

Adnan Khan

Askari Powers