Make A Difference – Wisconsin program provides financial mentoring to teens
On Wednesday, Feb. 18, 110 teens from 10 local high schools and community groups gathered at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Zelazo Center to be recognized for their achievements in a unique program called Money Coach™. This program, developed by Make A Difference – Wisconsin, is taking financial literacy to the next level by delivering one-on-one financial mentoring to teens in the Milwaukee area. By the end of the school year, teens can earn up to $500 to use toward college or career-related goals, such as purchasing a laptop or buying a car.
Throughout the evening, teens participated in team-building and goal-setting activities with the assistance of the Money Coach volunteers, students from the UWM Society For Advanced Economic Studies, teachers and business professionals from the Milwaukee area. The main event for the teens, however, was receiving the first half of their career/college scholarships, which they earned by reaching specific milestones to achieving their financial goals set at the beginning of the school year.
“This was a convincing moment for students,” said Bohdan Nedilsky, teacher from New Horizons for Learning Charter School, “and I anticipate they will carry that enthusiasm and commitment with them as we continue our work with the Money Coach Program. I hope their reflection on the event also pulls other students in to see the true value of this extraordinary experience.”
The event was also attended by State Representative Mandela Barnes, who shared his enthusiasm for the program, and donors from the R.A. Stevens Family Foundation who have helped to provide scholarship funding and State Farm who presented a $15,000 check that evening to help sustain the program. A keynote speech was delivered by Ann Miletti from Wells Capital Management, who shared her inspirational story about following dreams, no matter where life takes you.
Make A Difference – Wisconsin is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to providing Wisconsin youth with the financial management tools needed for success. A force of over 600 business and community volunteers provide financial education and coaching to thousands of Wisconsin teens at a critical stage in their lives with the secondary effect of impacting the financial health of our community.