Giving Tuesday gratitude: Reagan H.S. students share the importance of volunteers, financial education

FacebookLinkedInTwitterIt started with one email. Then, a few minutes later, another. Then a few more until it turned out every student in one class at Ronald Reagan College Preparatory H.S. had emailed one of our volunteers to share the impact of his volunteer time, experience and expertise.

Nearly three-dozen students in educator Courtney Bell’s personal and professional skills course at the esteemed southside Milwaukee school sent their own “thank you” emails to their Money Sense volunteer, Joe Schlidt. Schlidt has been part of our mission since the start, and was one of a troop of financial education volunteers in lessons that included Doug Levy and Rob Wilson.

In keeping with our #GivingTuesday tradition of sharing a story, we’ve compiled snippets from some of the emails by these promising students. We hope they will inspire you and give you a view of the impact that financial empowerment can have on a young person. (Schlidt, pictured below from a previous volunteer experience, already sent emails back to these “young all stars.”) Feel free to share the sentiment with a financial literacy mentor in your life.

Dear Mr. Schlidt,

I wanted to thank you for taking the time to give my class and I such a wonderful lesson on personal banking. It was an eye opener on how everything is in the big world. I learned a lot of new things that I never knew about before in the world of saving.

It was a such a pleasure to get advice from a professional who knows a lot about stocks, interest, and saving. I learned a lot of interesting things that will not only benefit me and my future, but also advice that I can give to my younger sisters so they can benefit their futures.

A thing that you said that really stuck in my head was that my generation is the generation that will be financially stable if we start saving our money now. I find it really interesting because many of my friends and I have jobs and are in school. What I assumed was that most of us spend our money but surprisingly I saw in the class that many of us have a separate account specifically for saving money for our futures.

Again thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to come to my class and speak to my classmates and I. I will take your advice into consideration whenever I think about spending money and budgeting for my future.



Dear Mr. Schlidt,
I wanted to thank you for taking the time out of your schedule to help my fellow classmates at Ronald Reagan High School and I prepare for our future. In my high school years no one has taught me or my classmates the importance of money or to even save our money. Your lesson about our finances really made me realize how much money I actually do spend and how I need to be more mindful of my money. Thank you once again for teaching me how to save and be more mindful of my money.

Peter: “Before you came I had no clue about budgeting, income, and paychecks. ‘Needs and wants’ is good way to think when consider to spend money. … I thoroughly enjoyed learning about compound interest and financial freedom.”

Angelise: “It was really helpful for me

[s]pecifically, the discussion of how saving for retirement worked. I knew that pensions and 401ks were both involved in retirement somehow, but not how they related or how they worked. I also didn’t know how Social Security related to retirement, and how all these things come together to fund retirement. Although my retirement is far off, I’m glad to learn it early!

Christian: “Thank you for taking the time out of your day to present knowledge of budgeting and credit with us. It was a pleasure to hear your understanding of these concepts so that we can better learn how to budget your money and time. I thoroughly enjoyed the time you spent with us, and I wish I volunteered more during the presentation. Thank you once again! I am eager to learn more about budgeting in the future.”

Mauricio: “One of the things we talked about were stocks, you said It is good to invest money on stocks, as it can even double your money. Although, it is a risky thing, for a long term goal you could potentially have good profit. This idea stuck with mean and I actually went home and talked to my parents about possibly doing this. They seemed interested and said they would think about it. Without your guidance, me and my family would have never thought to do something of the sort.”

Davon: “… I enjoyed the presentation and took away a lot of insight on budgeting and income. It was interesting for me to create a budget and will definitely help me in the future. As well as the different pathways that can be chosen after high school: work force, military, college, and skilled trades. I also liked the activity where we differentiated between needs and wants.”

Mr. Schlidt,
Thank you so very much for your time you spent teaching my classmates and I about financial literacy. I learned a great deal from your lessons, and am truly going to apply my new knowledge in my life outside of school. You have provided me with information that keeps its relevance to me beyond the classroom, which is one of the most valuable things to have.

Thank you,

Alexander: “… You were really helpful because you presented to me ways of separating my income from wants and needs. I found this important because I am currently saving up for a car, but sometimes I found myself spending more on wants then I needed to. You also helped me understand better why a certain amount of my paycheck was beings taken away. I never really [paid] attention to it but I am pleased now that I know why money is being removed from my paycheck.”

“I hope that one day I put myself in a better financial situation, and you’ve set me on that path of doing so.”

Dear Mr.Schlidt,

I wanted to thank you for taking the time out of your day to visit our Personal and Professional class to share your ability on budgeting for our future. I gained valuable insight into what I have to do to have a more secure future.

For example, opening a banking account and saving at least some amount of money like 10 dollars would be a good way to start. Another important thing I learned that is very valuable for me is the payment method I should get is direct deposit because according to the lesson money goes directly to your savings or checking account without any fees and another pro is that the access to funding is immediate.

Thank you again for coming. I learned a lot of new things.


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