Why a Couple Gave $65,000 to a Cause They Believed In 

Alexis Smith , Writer

Hardin County Schools’ financial literacy program received a donation from the President of Operations at Planet Fitness Mark Nelson and his wife on Nov. 25. 

A few years ago, a bill was passed to demand that financial literacy be taught in Kentucky high schools. Nelson was overjoyed by this development, but sadly, he knew that the program would not be funded properly. 

“I knew right away it was not going to be funded right; that’s one of the main reasons why we started this here in Hardin County,” Nelson said. “It’s just a plain and simple goal:  If you graduate from a Hardin County High School you will have a head start with financial literacy over everybody else.”

The county will now be able to afford materials for the class, such as calculators, and will be able to offer the curriculum needed to educate high school students. According to Investopedia.com students will be able to understand and apply various financial skills, learn how to manage their money, invest, budget, and so much more to help them become self sufficient and achieve financial stability later in life. 

“I’m real passionate about the fact that there’s a lack of education on financial literacy in this country, and even people in high positions, like people in government positions, don’t fully understand some of the things we’re facing,” Nelson said. “I have great concern for this generation.”

In his early life, Nelson watched his family go through financial struggles and had to work his senior year of high school in order to support his family. He noticed how financial struggles tore people apart and tried to be educated in the field of financial literacy in order to live a happier life with his family. 

“There’s all kinds of data that says the number one reason divorces happen is due to financial stress,” Nelson stated. 

Nelson also plans to give even more to the program in the future, further educating children at a young age the importance of financial literacy. 

“I’m so glad they passed this law,” said Todd Thompson, who teaches financial literacy at Central Hardin. “I’ve had kids graduate in previous years who didn’t know the difference between a credit card and a debit card.”

Thompson is greatly appreciative of the Nelsons’ donation, especially since students are getting materials they desperately need. 

“I used to print out sheets and hand them to students in packets,” Thompson stated. ”Now that the kids have their own books in their hands that they take home, it’s been so much better.” 

Nelson’s donation has done a lot of good for a lot of people and will help better educate generations in the future. 


For more information on Financial Literacy and Nelson’s story, visit: 






Full Interview with Mark Nelson