Raquel Rojano, Money Coach alumna, always knew she would need help paying for college, but didn’t know how much she needed, or where to find help.
Her experience in the SecureFutures Money Coach financial mentoring program not only answered those questions but inspired her to create a goal that changed her life. Raquel, a first-generation college student and junior at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, found out about the Money Coach program as a junior in high school, and took it upon herself to apply.
“I don’t think my parents even knew I applied,” said Raquel. “They taught me stuff about money, but it wasn’t really something we talked about. I love learning, so I was like, here’s a chance to learn about financial literacy. After going through the program, I think it should be a requirement.”
The Money Coach program changed Raquel’s relationship with money and taught her that money is something that could be in her control. After a month of tracking budgets, she had an eye-opening experience concerning where her money was going and how often. “It definitely made me more aware of how I spend my money,” explained Raquel. “It’s really easy to say, ‘It’s only $5’, but if it’s only $5, five times, it adds up.”
This was not the only eye-opening experience Raquel had. While taking the Money Coach program Raquel got the opportunity to use the Money Path academic, career, and financial planning app, and through this app she discovered how important scholarships are for attending college. “After using the Money Path app, I realized how much taking out any kind of loan would impact my financial future, so I made it a goal to graduate from college debt-free.”
With the help of her Money Coach mentor, she gathered resources and created a plan for different paths that she could take to accomplish her goal. After consulting with her mentor, she applied for dozens of scholarships and worked two jobs to save for everything she’d need for college. Her hard work and determination paid off and she was awarded a full-ride scholarship to her top school of choice. “Because I learned the importance of scholarships from the program, paying for college is something I don’t have to worry about. I like being fully committed to school without worrying about where the money is going to come from, so I feel pretty fortunate that I am able to do that.”
The financial fundamentals she learned in the Money Coach program shifted her mindset about money, moving from indifference to thinking of money as a tool to accomplish her life goals. “The better I can use this tool, the better leverage I have in building a future where I meet all my financial goals. Money Coach set me up for success as an adult in college, and beyond.”
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