Banking and budgeting lessons bring South Milwaukee H.S. alum back to school

FacebookLinkedInTwitterTwo Rockets made a return flight back to their home base in South Milwaukee.

Jody Robinson and Wendy Cieklinski are both Money Sense volunteers with Make A Difference – Wisconsin, signing up to lead financial education lessons through their employer, PyraMax Bank. Robinson and Cieklinski are also both graduates of South Milwaukee High School, the home of the Rockets, and on Wednesday they returned to their alma mater to jointly lead a class of sophomores through lessons on banking, budgets and paychecks.

“These are my roots,” said Jody Robinson (pictured left), a branch executive officer in Franklin for PyraMax. “This is where I grew up. I was one of five kids and I didn’t learn about

[financial literacy] until I got into my career in banking. It’s important to come back and share.”

Robinson and Cieklinski were among a slew of volunteers from Make A Difference and throughout the community who visited South Milwaukee H.S. as part of their “Road Trip to Success,” a day where sophomores explored different facets of living independently. The lessons also coincide with Financial Literacy Month, a national movement to increase America’s fiscal skills and understanding.

The volunteers who graduated from South Milwaukee were able to share aspects of their journey into adulthood with about 20 students in the morning session. As James, a sophomore, explained his pay from a first job as a busser at Serb Hall, Robinson stressed for students to formulate a plan, regardless if that means college or careers are in their immediate future.

Cieklinski (pictured right), a teller operations manager, walked sophomore Aryel through her first personal budgeting exercise. She referenced her daughter, a 14-year old, who has her own challenges in contributing money toward the burgeoning data portion of the family’s phone plan.

“I enjoyed when people came into talk about careers and jobs when I was in school,” Cieklinski said. “I thought it’d be fun and it would really matter, even if you just reach that one student.”

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