During Hancock Whitney Founders Month, we continue our founders’ legacy of empowering people through financial education to become responsible citizens that will build prosperous futures for our communities. But, a focus on financial education isn’t regulated to October; financial education is important to us every day. Schools, churches, business and civic clubs, Junior Achievement, chambers of commerce, rehabilitation and recovery agencies, and other organizations engage our associates to help young and old alike learn the value of good financial habits at every stage of life.
This Founders Month, we are letting some of our associates share why teaching financial education is important to them.
I have always had a passion for sharing financial education with others especially students and I feel the most important financial education topic for audiences to learn about is the importance of saving and having an active savings account. I really feel this is the first step for someone looking to achieve financial freedom. Several years ago I was involved in a mentoring program called Bridges to Circles where adults from different organizations and walks of life served as allies for people living in poverty who had a desire to improve their lives. I saw an amazing transformation in many of the individuals who participated. Participants who were overwhelmed by their circumstances in the beginning walked with their heads held high at graduation. Because of the support provided, including financial education, many had opened checking and savings accounts at local financial institutions, found stable employment, and one couple even closed on a new home. This experience had a positive impact on my life by reinforcing to me how important financial education is.
- Brenda Parker, Panama City, Florida
From the time I started my career in banking, financial education has always been important to me. I have worked with many organizations and individuals over my 29-year career. I’ve taught at high schools, universities and businesses. One particular story stands out—a student from Xavier University came to me after one of my classes. We talked about credit and how to build it. During his four years at Xavier, he opened a secured credit card and several CD secured loans. He financed a car by himself in his senior year. Eventually, I referred him to my mortgage originator. I was able to be a part of his life because I helped him build his credit. I was there when he bought his first car. I was there when he bought his home. It is an amazing feeling to positively affect someone’s life like that.
- Bryant Buttone, Franklinton, Louisiana
Teaching financial education is important to me because it allows me the chance to help prepare kids and adults with a good financial future. It also gives me the opportunity to help, even in a small part, break the lack of financial knowledge for the next generation. My favorite organization to teach financial education to is LiftFund—I’ve been involved with them for over 10 years. They help not only the youth through affiliate programs but also adults who are trying to live their dreams by starting a business.
- Randall Rojas, Houston, Texas
Teaching financial education is important to me because it helps educate future customers on financial matters. I have been involved with the Washington Parish School system for four years and I believe teaching at the schools gives the kids a head start on learning how to save. It also may not be a topic they have a chance to be taught at home. One of my favorite parts is at the end of our presentations, we give the kids a piggy bank. We tell them when it gets filled up to let their parents know to visit the bank to open a savings account with the funds that have been saved.
- Rhonda Penton, Bogalusa, Louisiana