Katie Larock is in her “happy place,” literally and figuratively. As a Supervising Lead Teacher at the Child Care and Learning Center, she loves her work, and she will complete a certification in Early Child Development at Laurel Ridge Community College in May.
Larock says, “CCLC has been my lifeline, a whole community.”
She is also in a financial happy place, a big turnaround from two years ago. Before taking advantage of free financial coaching with FamilyFutures, Katie had student loans in collections and struggled with her finances.
Today, she is current on her loans and has two savings accounts. She takes advantage of direct deposit of her CCLC paycheck. With direct deposit, her earnings are split into checking and savings (20 percent) without any new action required on her part.
Son Jack is in a happy place too. Entering Rappahannock’s elementary school as a first grader, he immediately was part of the MyFuture program and got a personal savings account seeded with $100 by FamilyFutures. Like his classmates, most of whom got their accounts as Kindergartners, he can earn an additional $100 a year until he graduates by completing tasks designed to grow financial and personal life skills. Collectively, three classes enrolled to date have more than $42,700 in the bank, thanks to generous donors and foundations.
“Rappahannock Elementary has really been good for both of us,” Katie says.
Katie’s turnaround started with those coaching sessions with FamilyFutures staff. Financial coaching begins with participants identifying personal goals. Then the participant and coach work together to lay out a realistic step-by-step plan to reach the goals. The coach offers information, tools and, sometimes, games or exercises to help the participant set priorities but never dictates the choices. Katie is now happy to share her success, but coaching is always completely confidential.
Lisa Paine-Wells, CCLC director, says, “This is a great success story, and I hope more staff will take advantage of the financial coaching.”
On top of finishing the child development certificate, Katie is also taking courses on child care center management and leadership and finishing her bachelor’s degree in Law and Social Justice at Penn State. She’s researching law schools as her next goal.
“I like being in school,” she says, “and it’s nice to feel like I am making progress.”
Katie and Jack are saving together for the future. Right now, Jack, who is a whiz with numbers, thinks about being a spy, or maybe a scientist, or maybe he’ll “adopt sick snakes.”
FamilyFutures offers financial coaching to any adult—or teen. For more information, email email@example.com, or call 540-675-1060. For details on the school-based MyFuture savings and financial education, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mail checks to: Family Futures, Box 570, Sperryville, VA 22740
FamilyFutures is a tax exempt charity under Section 501(c)3.
Gifts are fully deductible as allowed by law. Please consult your tax adviser.
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