My name is Jeremy and I want to share my story with you. I don’t want this to sound corny, but when I say Make A Difference – Wisconsin made a difference in my life, I mean it.
Like many other teens, banking and managing money just weren’t things we talked about at home. Every other Friday I would go with my family to the check cashing store because nobody had a bank account. I honestly thought you had to have a lot of money to have a bank account — I thought you had to be rich.
The day the Make A Difference volunteer came into my classroom was a very important time in my life. I had just received my first paycheck and, like a typical teenager, would have spent it all. But the volunteer explained how everyone can and should have a savings account. She taught me and my classmates about things like saving, investing and the power of compound interest. I asked her what seemed like a thousand questions — this was all so new to me! The program opened my eyes to the opportunities that come when you know how to manage your money.
With the new knowledge from my Make A Difference volunteer, I knew my first paycheck held a lot of potential. I had to decide, “Should I save it? Should I invest it? How should I spend it?”
My volunteer gave me the confidence to use that check to open my first savings account. After all, it turns out you don’t have to be rich to have one of those! I saved all of it, and a portion of every paycheck ever since.
This knowledge changed my life. With my savings, I started my first small business right out of high school. Then, by investing and saving my earnings, I was able to open my second business, Crash Course Driver Education Center.
Thanks to volunteers and supporters like you who make this work possible, I am a 22-year old with a retirement account. I save and invest, and so does my family; and we’re not the only ones. Make A Difference helps thousands of teens each year reach their potential and break the habits that hold them back.
Now it’s my turn to pay it forward. Will you donate to bring this powerful program to other teens? Your investment will change a life.