2020 Difference Maker Individual: Joyce Stoner
Our 2020 Lloyd Levin Difference Maker individual, Joyce Stoner, has been with SecureFutures as a volunteer from the very beginning. Back in 2006, she was part of the pilot group of volunteers who delivered the first Money Sense program. Since then, she’s volunteered every year, first with Money Sense and then as a Money Coach.
When Joyce first learned about SecureFutures, her kids were in high school, which she says made her acutely aware of the need for teen financial education. “I thought that it was a skill that every student really needed to have,” Joyce said. “It’s not something that’s generally taught in school, and there are a lot of parents who are either not financially secure themselves or don’t know how to pass that on. It’s a survival skill, and every high school student should have it.”
This year, Joyce is once again serving as a SecureFutures pioneer, as part of the first ever fully virtual Money Coach program this semester. Joyce says the virtual format has actually been helpful in developing one-on-one relationships with the teens she’s mentoring because “it’s more flexible and easier to spend a bit more quality time with our students.”
Joyce coaches a student at the Hmong American Peace Academy
Joyce says that SecureFutures programs are unique because they keep students interested. “The materials that SecureFutures has are awesome,” Joyce said. “They’re easy to understand, they’re easy to present. There are real world examples – buying a car, buying a house, what to look for when you open a bank account. It’s realistic and it’s digestible.”
Joyce brings a lot of her own personal and professional experiences into her work as a volunteer. “I think that’s part of the real advantage of the program,” she said. “We’ve always jumped in with examples from our own lives, and I’ve used examples from my kids’ lives.”
Her favorite part of volunteering is “when you see the ‘I get it’ look on the students’ faces after you’ve had some conversation.”
“I’ve also realized how deep-thinking some of these students really are,” Joyce said. “It’s been impressive to me, and a little bit humbling. You learn something from it too — every time you present, when you get different reactions and questions from the students, that’s really something you can learn from.”
“Joyce has been a staple within the Money Coach program,” said Stephaine Crosley, Money Coach Program Manager. “Since I’ve been a Program Manager, Joyce has been committed to working for and with the students she works with and because of that, I know that she is making a difference in their lives; they leave better than how they came in. We wholeheartedly appreciate Joyce as a Money Coach volunteer.”
Congratulations, Joyce, and thank you for all you’ve done to bring financial capability to teens in our community!