By Carlo Versano

The mission statement on the website of Credit Do is bold and ambitious: "to deliver the first debt-free generation."

Chris Avila Hübschmann, the founder CEO of Credit Do, explained to Cheddar that the non-profit's mission was inspired by two realities. Financial literacy in schools is lagging, even as educational debt continues to increase. That's not a coincidence.

Children aren't forming the right financial habits early, Hübschmann said. Credit Do attempts to help them build those habits that will serve them later in life, while also benefiting the community, local businesses, and putting money into kids' pockets to save or pay for necessities.

Here's how it works: Credit Do partners with teachers to develop a financial literacy curriculum for middle school math classes. Students are then offered an opportunity to do community service projects in exchange for a minimum of $10 an hour in store credit at local businesses their families patronize. They can also compete for extra store credit to apply to necessities or personal savings.

The system, called Smarter Barter, is about "learning the value of showing up," Hübschmann said.

The value proposition for local retailers is that they gain foot traffic and loyalty from members of their communities y. And the service projects benefit charities like City Harvest.

"All parts of the community are profiting," Hübschmann said.

Currently, Credit Do operates in low-income New York City public schools, but has plans to expand. More than 300 students have earned and saved over $26,000, according to Hübschmann.

** Hungry for more stories of female representation in business? Cheddar is turning into ChedHER all Friday, March 1, in partnership with JPMorgan Chase. We'll focus on more women innovators like Hübschmann. Check out their stories here. **