Associated Bank — in collaboration with the YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and in partnership with Metro Milwaukee Society for Human Resource Management and the Milwaukee Center for Independence — recently hosted the second annual Bank Your Future: An Interview Meet-up. The educational event focused on helping more than 300 youth (14-19 years old) develop interviewing, financial literacy and college readiness skills.

Held at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, over 100 professionals from more than 70 organizations volunteered. During the event, students were paired with working professionals for one-on-one mock interviews and resume reviews, and attended breakout sessions focused on financial literacy and interview etiquette.

Michelle Peterson and Karla Barillas, Young Professionals of Associated Milwaukee members, presented Bank on It, a financial literacy workshop designed to help students build a positive relationship with financial institutions.

“It was great connecting with and mentoring Milwaukee Public School students, and sharing the importance of banking and the impact it has on our economy,” Peterson said. “The biggest highlight for me was seeing the focus and curiosity these kids have about the work we do.”

Event participants were welcomed by keynote speaker Tonit Calaway, vice president of Human Resources at the Harley-Davidson Motor Company. Jerel Worthy, defensive end for the Green Bay Packers, connected with the students with valuable career and life advice, and his encouragement resonated with the students.

At the conclusion of the event, host John Utz, Associated executive vice president and head of Specialized Financial Services Group, introduced the 2012 NFL Defensive Player of the Year and former Wisconsin Badger J.J. Watt, defensive end for the Houston Texans. Watt closed the program by providing students with guidance on the keys to success and how to best achieve their dreams. He then raffled multiple $100 gift cards provided by Omar Shaikh of the SURG group, and Kindles, iPads, Microsoft Surface tablets and Dell laptops provided by Associated Bank.