Educators Connect: Carmen Rahming and YiPPE


Carmen Rahming is passionate about SecureFutures’s mission and is a perfect example of one of our unique and longtime partnerships. Carmen has partnered with SecureFutures since 2013. For many years, Carmen served as a Transition Coordinator at Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) and advocated for SecureFutures to be welcomed into several smaller MPS schools. Currently, Carmen is an Employment Training Specialist with MPS’s School to Work Program and also serves as a program facilitator for YiPPE (Youth in Partnership with Parents for Empowerment).

YiPPE, coordinated by Sherry Gundlach, assists youth with disabilities to develop confidence, self-advocacy skills, and provides tools to transition into post high school settings/independent living. YiPPE also provides parents with the tools needed to support their students through post-high school transition.

How did YIPPE get involved with SecureFutures? How do you describe YIPPE and the students you serve?
Youth in Partnership with Parents for Empowerment (YiPPE) is a leadership development opportunity for youth with disabilities and their parents to learn about the post-high school transition process. Youth and their parents meet five times during the year. They learn from speakers and take part in hands-on activities in parallel programs centered around transition.

The YiPPE program supports students with special needs and their families gain post-secondary transition skills. We assist parents and students to plan for their future and build the skills necessary for good decision making. I’ve been working with SecureFutures since 2013 and have observed students’ growth throughout these sessions. The work SecureFutures does, providing financial literacy, is valuable information and essential for a successful life. The Money Sense program, now a regular part the curriculum, is an excellent fit within the YiPPE program.

How does SecureFutures align with your mission?
YiPPE assists youth with disabilities to develop confidence, self-advocacy skills, and provides tools to transition to post high school settings/independent living. SecureFutures’ Money Sense program fits well into supporting the transition skills required for success. It offers lessons for both students and parents.

How would you describe the impact of the Money Sense curriculum?
Observing parents and students work and learn together is impactful. I’m hopeful each group receives confirmation they were on the correct path and also gains some strategies to improve their situation.

Are you a passionate advocate for any specific lesson SecureFutures delivers to teens?
“Bank your Future,” (the first lesson in the Money Sense program) focuses on budgeting and was a good initial topic to set the stage for the remainder of the meetings. Parents and students work together to develop their students’ budgets. This is usually eye opening for many students to visually see the financial responsibility it takes to live independently. It’s also informative for parents to observe the level of readiness within their child.

What would you say to someone who isn’t sure if they want to volunteer with us?
Being financially prepared for life is key to success. SecureFutures volunteers have the background knowledge, the ability to share the information with others, and genuinely enjoy working with our group. I’m confident volunteers get as much, if not more than they give knowing they had a positive impact on others.

What are your big takeaways from this partnership and for your students? What kind of feedback did you gain from the participants?
The Money Sense presentations are informative and just enough for the participants to digest and implement into daily practices. The presenters fit the bill perfectly! They always arrive full of enthusiasm and ahead of time to set up and prepare for their presentation. SecureFutures volunteers are able to engage all attendees (high school students with disabilities and their parents) in the discussion and activities. The information is appropriate and timely for this stage in our students’ life. Every student should receive this information at some point in high school.

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