2022 Lloyd Levin Difference Maker Individual Award Winner: Jade I. Hendricks

Jade I. Hendricks accepting the 2022 Lloyd Levin Difference Maker Individual Award with Lloyd Levin and Jeremy Cain

Every year SecureFutures honors our founder, Lloyd Levin, by recognizing one individual volunteer and one partner organization for their contribution to our mission of teen financial empowerment. This year we are thrilled to celebrate Jade Hendricks as our 2022 Lloyd Levin Difference Maker Volunteer.

Full circle. That’s how Jade describes her experience with SecureFutures. “The first time I was  introduced to the SecureFutures team was at the annual Difference Maker Awards in 2019. There I was in the audience, not knowing anyone, new to the organization, watching Dion Saffold receive this award. Here I am, three years later, receiving the award myself.”

Jade grew up in Milwaukee, the oldest of three siblings, to which she credits her “maternal nature” in wanting to help others. After graduating from Fisk University in Nashville with a degree in Business Administration and Spanish, Jade began her career in Chicago. A little while later, she found herself living back in her hometown, this time as an adult, and looking to find ways to contribute to the community. “I wanted to start my own financial literacy program, so I Googled ‘Financial Literacy Programs in Milwaukee’ and found SecureFutures.” Not looking to reinvent the wheel, Jade joined the mission as a Money Coach and has since been involved in all three programs, Money Coach, Money Sense and Money Path, with over 53 volunteer hours.

Jade’s passion for giving back to the community comes down to two reasons: One, how she grew up. “I know where I came from. I grew up in a single-family household with just my mom taking care of me and my two younger brothers. I think because I’m the oldest I’ve always naturally had a desire to guide and give, and it’s carried over into the interests that I have and how I want to live my life.”

And two, recognizing that financial literacy is lacking. “From a financial literacy perspective, we all need money to live and thrive in society and people don’t know how to manage it well. That’s an issue for me personally. Look at the demographics of the communities that suffer the most. Financial literacy is the foundation for helping people create sustainable equity.”

Jade considers financial literacy to be a necessity and not a privilege and encourages people to start seeing it that way and contributing resources. “Statistically, 58% of households in the US live paycheck to paycheck and the majority of people can’t afford a $400 expense without using a credit card. The United States is one of the richest countries in the world, but we’re one of the highest in debt per capita. We know the truth about what financial literacy can do and we all have resources, whether it’s your time, your talent, or your treasure to contribute toward that effort.”

While Jade may be well-versed in financial literacy today, it wasn’t always that way. When asked how she learned to manage money her immediate response was laughter. “Trial and error,” she smiled. Jade got her first job at the age of 13 and would cash her check the moment she got it, spending every penny at the mall with her cousin. When she moved to Chicago, she realized she was making more money than she ever had and was still struggling to make ends meet. That’s when she got very serious about implementing the strategies she was learning in regards to saving, budgeting, and investing. And it started working.

Jade’s motivation to stay involved is simple; the students and the SecureFutures team. “The students make it just that much easier to stay involved because they’re so smart, inquisitive, and funny. Yes, it’s about financial literacy, mentorship and career and college prep, but you get to see the students on a real level and really listen to them and the things they’re concerned about. We have so much to give, but we also have a lot to receive from them.” The commitment and passion of the SecureFutures team matches that of her own, “All the way from Brenda, to the Program Managers, to the interns. And the students feel that.”

Jade’s involvement with SecureFutures has allowed her to build her network and led her to her current position as Assistant Vice President of Investor Operations at MLG Capital in Brookfield.

In addition to volunteering, Jade was instrumental in including SecureFutures as one of seven non-profit organizations to choose from in the Making a Difference (MAD) Initiative at MLG Capital. The MAD Initiative was named after the firm’s overall mission – Making a Difference, While Making a Living and was created to provide entities and individuals with the opportunity to invest in private real estate, while contributing to a charitable organization. For more information about the initiative, go to mlgcapital.com/madinitiative/.

Jade’s hope for SecureFutures is that it keeps expanding, both statewide and nationally, and that people get more involved from a volunteer perspective. “Once you actually get in the classrooms and see the students, you realize you have no idea what they are going through. It would be great to see more people join hands with the mission and actively get involved to understand the realities of how the youth in the city of Milwaukee and beyond are seeing the world, and how little bits of your time and a few additional resources can help them change their trajectory.”

When asked what this award means to her, Jade’s answer was simple: “Everything. I love that I’m able to be a part of what SecureFutures is doing and I love that I’m able to talk to people about it, whether they volunteer or not. I don’t mind being an unofficial ambassador because I just think it’s awesome. All I can say is thank you. I’m so grateful and extremely honored to be a recipient. It’s a big, big deal.”

Go to Top