A program Tuesday night to teach high school girls an important life skill drew extra attention from a Hollywood star: Reese Witherspoon. She was in town for the grand opening of her new retail store location in Nashville. She presented a couple hundred girls, most of them from public schools in Nashville, with advice about being wise with money.
Ajah Faison, 14, said she already talks about finances with her parents, which is why her mom suggested this event. But the biggest draw to come to this event was the name.
"One of my inspirations is Reese Witherspoon, so I just thought it was a great opportunity to actually hear from her," she said.
Witherspoon, who grew up in Nashville, said she wanted to be a part of the YWCA-run program — called "Girls Just Wanna Have Funds" — because saving money and planning for the future were an important topic in her home. She later realized that's not true for every family.
"My parents never gave me the money to buy things I really wanted, because they didn't want to rob me of that wonderful feeling that you have when you work really hard and you buy something with your own money," Witherspoon told the audience. "Am I right, ladies?"
Afterward, Ajah said hearing the message from someone she already admired made a difference.
"I learned that I need to stop spending all my money when I first get it," she said with a laugh.