As the calendar flips to January and we reflect on the past year I’d like to express my sincere gratitude for your faith in the work we do with teens.
Educators, volunteers, financial supporters, and corporate and foundation partners over the last 16 years, helped to empower more than 100,000 teens with financial education and mentorship. Thank you! You make the mission of SecureFutures possible and you keep it moving forward.
One of the most impactful ways we’re able to serve historically marginalized under-resourced students is through our mentoring program, Money Coach. January is National Mentoring Month and the perfect time to recognize the incredible volunteers who serve as coaches.
During the fall semester I got an up-close and personal view of the life-changing impact of Money Coach. For the first time since we launched this program nine years ago, I served as a money coach to students at one of our partner schools in Milwaukee. Even though the teens I served are faced with a multitude of challenges, I see so much potential in all of them. I admit that I had to work extra hard to “win over” one of the students, but I wish you could have seen her face when she told me that she opened her first bank account. She’s an entrepreneur selling hair products and clothing and she was operating her small business from a cash app.
One of the young men I mentored is on my mind every day. He works at McDonald’s and dreams of producing music one day. I can tell that things are difficult for him at home, and it’s clear there are financial challenges. We worked on an independent living budget so he can better understand what it will take financially to be out on his own.
When teens have access to financial education and a mentor who is truly invested in them, something magical happens. They gain the skills and knowledge they need to succeed and make a positive impact in their communities. It can also help to reduce income inequalities and promote social mobility.
Now is the perfect time to become a Money Coach and help us provide the financial education and mentorship teens want and need to become financially capable. Research shows that mentors play a powerful role in providing young people with the tools to make positive choices, attend and engage in school, and reduce negative behaviors. You can make a transformational impact on students like Sasha, Money Coach alumna at James Madison Academic Campus (JMAC). Here’s what she had to say about the program:
“The Money Coach program really helped me take control of my life and secure my future. Without this program, there was no other way I was going to learn about financial literacy. I was a part of the Money Coach classes back in 2017 and it still has a huge impact on my life today. I am forever grateful.”
And guess what? Mentoring doesn’t just benefit the students. It can also provide a number of benefits for you, the mentor.
Some benefits of mentoring include:
- Personal and professional development. Mentoring provides an opportunity to develop your leadership and coaching skills as you reflect on your own experiences.
- Networking. Mentoring can help you build relationships with others in your field, including newer professionals who may be able to provide fresh perspectives and new ideas.
- Improved communication and interpersonal skills. Mentoring requires effective communication and the ability to listen and provide constructive feedback, which can help improve your own communication and interpersonal skills.
- Professional satisfaction. Seeing the students grow and succeed as a result of your mentoring relationship can be a source of professional satisfaction.
When I say Money Coach is life changing, I mean it. And not just for the teen, but for their families, their communities, and for you. If you’re ready to join us, please contact my colleague, Maria Fuller, Volunteer Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wishing you good health, happiness, and peace in the new year.