Associated Bank colleagues Jackie Leavesseur, manager for Regis Court, and Theresa O’Neel, market manager for the Chippewa Valley community market, recently represented Associated on WEAU TV. The two spoke about financial education programs and how to get finances in order. Their segment included conversations on why being financially set is important, how it can affect other aspects of a person’s life and ways to become financially fit through budgeting, saving, etc.

O’Neel began presenting on financial education as a banker through the financial education series Associated offers as part of the Bank at Work program. She has also volunteered with Junior Achievement to provide financial education to local schools. Leavesseur got involved in financial education over eight years ago through Junior Achievement, the Real Life Academy and Associated’s Bank at Work program.

The Real Life Academy offers an interactive, hands-on experience for area high school students to learn about money management. Leavesseur serves on the Academy’s committee, which Associated sponsors. Junior Achievement is dedicated to providing young people with the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for the future, and make smart academic and financial choices. Associated’s Bank at Work program provides products and services to any sized business while meeting the financial needs of their employees through personalized, on site banking services.

“I am very passionate about educating our youth to be prepared for the ‘real world’ when they leave high school,” said Leavesseur. “Also, by helping our clients with their personal finances, they can become more financially fit. I believe all of our colleagues would benefit from being involved in some type of community education around personal finance.”

“The stress and confusion caused by financial problems can create real problems for our customers. I have received many comments regarding how much there is to know about using credit wisely and protecting your identity,” said O’Neel. “Financial education is the key. We should do all we can to provide community members with the tools they need to make good financial decisions.”

Leavesseur added that colleagues will get a lit in return by being involved with financial literacy.

“I have personally had clients come and thank me for helping them down the path to becoming financially fit,” said Leavesseur. “I received an email not too long ago from a young man who said he wouldn’t be where he is today if it had not been for me helping him understand the importance of financial responsibility. As a college student who couldn’t even keep his checking account in the positive, it was a ‘tough love’ learning experience. He is now a commercial banker in Minnesota!”