Money Mentors look to improve financial wellness for students
Inspiring confidence, providing awareness about money and teaching students about life are the goals of the Money Mentors program at Central Michigan University.
Since launching in the spring, the Money Mentors program has four students who work as "Money Mentors" but is in the process of adding six more.
"The Money Mentors work as part of the Financial Wellness Collaborative," said Anna Sheufelt, who oversees the program. "Money Mentors are trained peers who go out around campus and talk to fellow students about financial wellness, college finances and personal money management."
They can present to students, CMU faculty and staff and focus on specific topics like student loans, credit, saving for retirement and creating a budget.
Sheufelt said the program can positively impact students. For example, one interaction could allow a student struggling with their finances to return for another semester, she said.
Money Mentors are students themselves and their discussions focus on peer-to-peer communication. They look to share their knowledge with fellow students, making them feel as comfortable as possible when learning about financial wellness.
The peer-to-peer aspect was the inspiration behind the program, Sheufelt said. Students see their peers who are going through similar things as them and find it easier to relate.
"We aim to be student centered and provide awareness for students," said Courtney Morris, graduate assistant who supervises the student advisory board, which collaborates to make finances understandable for students.
Wakefield sophomore Easton Hamel, a student assistant who also works with the student advisory board and the Money Mentor program, said the program isn't just aimed toward finance or business majors.
"Finances bring everybody together and a majority of students will have to worry about their finances one day, and that brings all of us together," Hamel said. "So, it's a thing that everyone can relate to."
Sheufelt said students who become a part of the Money Mentors program have a passion for financial wellness and see the purpose of the program.
West Branch senior Andrea Balser said she is very passionate about financial wellness, which is successfully managing financial expenses, and she loves to share her knowledge with others.
"Being a Money Mentor is a super rewarding and an eye opening experience," Balser said. "As a Money Mentor I get to help other students out and inform them about topics such as budgeting and loans."
Balser said they have presentations that are geared toward loans, future finances, budgeting and financial wellness 101, which is a basic overview of all financial topics.
"At our presentation sessions we do activities to help further explain the topics," Balser said. "In addition, we answer any questions that students may have."
To request a presentation from the Financial Wellness Collaborative's Money Mentors program you can do so on CMU's website. For more information call 989-774-2611 or email .