“Through the Money Coach program by SecureFutures, I knew the importance of having good credit and a savings account,” said Daisy Fregoso, Peoples State Bank – West Allis commercial loan administrator. “It was helpful for my husband and I when we were looking at renting a home or buying a home. The Money Coach training helped me see that by renting you’re not building equity. Sure enough, we were pre-approved and purchased a house within two months.”
Watch Daisy’s SecureFutures Money Coach video.
Fregoso’s experience in the Money Coach program began at Milwaukee’s Carmen High School when she was just a sophomore. She and her friends were asked by a counselor if any of them might be interested in attending an after-school program designed by SecureFutures to teach teenagers about money and finances. SecureFutures is a Milwaukee-based nonprofit that began in 2006, with a goal of providing financial literacy programs and resources that empower students to make sound financial decisions.
“As a teenager, I would look for what to spend my money on, instead of saving it.” Fregoso’s parents shared information about finances when asked, but she said she wasn’t secure enough to ask a lot of questions. Money Coach training showed her how to save, build a budget, build credit, and offered information on how finances can impact a teenager as they grow into adulthood.
“It was required that all Money Coach students have a savings account, and that we worked through a budget.” The Money Coach mentors would review what the students were spending each week, and then offer suggestions on how to save, what spending could be cut, and the importance of putting money into a savings account.
Brenda Campbell is the president and CEO of SecureFutures, and is proud that Fregoso went through the program, and is now a member of the SecureFutures board of directors. “In our 15-year existence, we have served closed to 90,000 teens with our programs, including Daisy. The programs are provided at no cost to the students, no cost to the high schools, and much of our program is delivered by volunteers. When you have teens that are smarter spenders and better savers, they become more productive adults and the community becomes stronger for it.”
Fregoso’s sophomore year mentor shared information with the students about banking industry career paths. Fregoso says as a sophomore she didn’t really have a long-term career plan but knew after the coaching sessions that banking could become an option for her. And it did. “I’m proud of being in the financial world, knowing how important it is in reaching your dreams.”
Fregoso used her financial knowledge to land a job at a Milwaukee area bank in 2018, and then joined Peoples State Bank in March 2020 as a universal customer service representative. She was recently promoted to assist the bank’s commercial team with processing business loan applications.
Fregoso says her Money Coach training helped her answer many customers questions about credit and banking. “They would come in and be confused about the difference between a credit card and a debit card, and they wouldn’t understand the importance of building a good credit score. Money Coach provided me the answers, and I felt it was important to share the information with the bank’s customers, too.”
She’s hoping to share her knowledge about banking and the Money Coach program as a new board member of the SecureFutures board of directors. “Being one of the youngest people on the board, and someone who has been through the program, I’m hoping my experience will help guide what topics might make sense for teens, and whether we should consider other options. And as a possible mentor myself, I think teens need to know how their decisions at that age and as a college-age student can have a direct impact on their adult financial picture.”
It all adds up to a great opportunity for a Peoples employee to give back to their community. Peoples State Bank supports our local communities, providing employees volunteer time off to assist nonprofits, schools, and sports organizations. We’re proud of Daisy, and all our employees who routinely volunteer more than 40 hours per person per year!