It’s all about the people

by Brenda Campbell, President and CEO, SecureFutures


Earlier this month, I had the privilege of taking part in the Women of Influence 2019 Innovation Symposium, hosted by the Milwaukee Business Journal. It’s always incredible to have the opportunity to spend time with hundreds of women offering insight, leadership, and support to each other and to others in our community.

The panel I participated in had an interesting topic: “Wealth Creation for the Next Generation.” Along with my fellow panelists, Emily Phillips and Denise Beaulier, and our moderator, May Yer Thao, I got to take part in a meaningful discussion about the particular challenges that face young adults today in achieving financial security and building wealth.

As we talked, one of the things we all agreed on was that the next generation faces a lot of unique challenges as they work towards these goals. Student loan debt is overwhelming; housing costs are high. And that’s just for the general population. For students who face institutional, structural, and societal inequities, the barriers are much greater.
One of the questions that came up was: who can help? As young adults try to do the math of managing student loan debt, credit card debt, daily expenses, financial emergencies, and long term retirement and savings goals, who can they turn to?

My fellow panelists and I had several suggestions. There are tech-based budgeting and financial planning tools available, and financial institutions offer services. But this discussion made me realize how vital it is for young adults, living in this complicated financial world, to have people in their lives who can offer advice and support.

At SecureFutures, we have several proven programs that help teens achieve financial capability. We use relevant curriculum, have developed cutting-edge technology, and pay careful attention to data. All of these things are big contributors to the impact and effectiveness of our work.

But the most important thing that lies behind all of these efforts is people. Our volunteers and staff offer personal connections to the teens we serve. This mentorship and support means that students have a place to go when they have questions, when they make a mistake, or when challenges seem too much to handle alone.

We all need people, whether we’re 17 or 70. I hope at SecureFutures we can continue to build a network of support, so that our next generation can not only become financially capable and create wealth, but truly thrive.