Financial literacy is a passion of ours at BankMobile, so we created an annual financial literacy scholarship to give back to those who have been giving of themselves in their community. After reading thousands of essays and scholarship applications, we awarded the $1500 scholarship to Troy Howard. He demonstrated an active role in promoting financial literacy in his community through a variety of programs and initiatives. Congratulations to Troy and thank you for taking the time to help other students understand the importance of money management. Please join us in congratulating him in the comments below, and take a moment to read his essay to see how he’s making a difference.
Troy Howard’s Scholarship Essay
A Passion of Mine
Whether we are talking about monthly budgets, spending analyses, or FICO Scores, there is no question that finance excites me the more than anything else does. In a sense, personal finance is already a major part of my life, even at my current age; I have been studying finance through independent studies and night classes at the Fox Valley Technical College over the past four years. I am a finance intern at Community First Credit Union and have been for almost two years. My dad has been teaching me the ‘ins and outs’ of investing and money management since I was little. Most recently, I competed in the Financial Consulting Event at the International DECA Competition in Orlando, Florida where I earned recognition for my exam score. In this event, I was tasked with giving credit score advice to a client looking to apply for a mortgage. My passion for finance boils down to one simple concept; I feel that through finance, I can help others make the best decisions to improve and protect their quality of life.
I like to stop problems upstream. I have made it my duty to spread financial awareness in my school, and in my community. At Appleton West High School this past year, I introduced the “Terror Buck Savings Initiative,” a program that incentivizes students to save their money. This program allows students to deposit our school’s currency, the “Terror Buck,” and earn rewards by doing so. The program is in partnership with my employer, Community First Credit Union. In order to get this program off the ground I spent countless hours planning and organizing. I am working on similar projects, on a grander scale, in my community, the Fox Cities. This program will work in a similar manner as the high school program, but will be geared towards a younger audience.
As the President of Appleton West DECA, I actively promoted events such as Money Smart Week and numerous other money management seminars. Our goal, as an organization, was not to turn our student body into the next generation of business professionals (although that would be nice), but was rather to simply inform our peers of the important role money management plays in each and every one our lives.
In college, I plan to expand my financial awareness program even further. Currently, I am designing a program where fellow undergraduate students and I would travel to local elementary schools giving a fun, interactive presentation on basic money-management. This presentation would be the beginning of a long-term financial awareness program at the elementary school. I believe this route will be even more effective because elementary students look up to college students, and view them as role models. It is essential for children to learn at a young age how to manage their money, just as I did when I was little. I heartily believe my awareness programs could prevent future money-related hardships for students. By learning about smart money management while they are young, the students can avoid many of the finance-related problems we see so often today. This opportunity, to prevent another’s future suffering, is precisely what motivates me to advance and persevere.
Do you want to be the next scholarship winner? Apply for the Annual BankMobile Financial Literacy Scholarship next year!
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