Trevor Medenwaldt, with Achieva Credit Union, is a Certified Financial Counselor (CFC), IRA Specialist (CIS II), HSA Specialist (CHSP) and Branch Manager of Del Prado & Camelot Isles shares his insight on what it means to be the proud sponsor of Lee County Schools in Fort Myers, Florida.
Why did you decide to sponsor Budget Challenge for Lee County Schools?
Achieva Credit Union began as a Teacher’s Credit Union back in 1937. A few teachers in Pinellas County Florida attempted to get a loan and they were denied so they took action and began their own Credit Union with just $99.25! With such deep roots in education, we remain passionate today in partnering with local schools in our footprint. When I explored what Budget Challenge has to offer there was no question that this simulation was the perfect way to demonstrate our mission and benefit our teachers and students! Giving back to our members and our communities is just the Credit Union way!
In what ways does the mission of your credit union align with the goals of Budget Challenge?
As a Credit Union, we are in full force to provide Financial Literacy to everyone regardless of what stage of life they are in! We know and believe that Financial Literacy is an essential life skill that is not available to many students and families today through school curriculums. Therefore, when providing funds to our local schools we strive to ensure that the funds are used in connection with furthering students Financial Literacy which aligns perfectly with the goals of Budget Challenge.
From what you've seen of the program, what features do you like the most?
WOW – That is a tough question to answer because there are just so many features to highlight! The simulation takes students through real life decision making and partners that with a fun environment for students to remain engaged. Beyond that, the incorporation of goals, friendly competition, teacher involvement, Financial Education AND integration as a sponsor make Budget Challenge a robust tool that benefits everyone! I will be honest, I personally did the full simulation, despite being an individual that regularly teaches Financial Literacy, I was thoroughly impressed with the flow and simplicity of the education information available as you complete each step.
Did you have financial literacy in high school?
I sort of had Financial Literacy in school. Way back then we had a Life Skills Class that had a very small segment on finances. During that time I learned things like how to properly write a check, balance a check book, and why saving is important. I credit this limited introduction to Financial Literacy for stirring my interest which resulted in my decision to enter the field of Financial Services and Financial Literacy Education.
Did that affect your decision to sponsor the program in any way?
My personal experience with Financial Literacy has absolutely influenced my decision to sponsor this program with Budget Challenge and Lee County Schools. I cannot highlight my satisfaction enough but if anyone reading this wants to hear directly from a user advocate of Budget Challenge they are welcome to reach out to me!