Q: How did your family and culture influence who you are today?
Being Native, our values and culture are engrained into who we are. They shape not only our life choices but the way we carry ourselves in everyday conversations and how we represent ourselves. We know we represent our family and our people in the community. Remembering these fundamentals has led me to be a better person, be a better example, and give back to our Native communities. I am happy that I have come from a line of strong Native women to guide me through life and reach for the stars in everything that I do. My aaka (grandma), who was always very responsible with money and consistently reiterated the importance of business practices, led me to attain my education in economics and finance and further attain my CFP designation – a first for my community. This has also allowed me to give back to my community through financial education.
Q: Why is ACEE important to you?
ACEE is essential to me because they are teaching, arguably, the best life skill for our young adults that will have the most impact on their lives. While reading, writing, math, etc., are critical, managing our money is an everyday life skill we can carry on with us for a lifetime. Without ACEE, Arizona middle and high schools may not even teach these classes, and our youth would be missing a significant life skillset.
Q: Why do you care about financial and economic education?
I care about financial and economic education because frequently, I have seen how much our financial tendencies are a product of the environment we grew up in. We see the financial habits of our parents, and unfortunately, without the proper financial literacy education, we often fall into those same habits. However, with the proper financial education, we can undo those habits and help families flourish and create a new cycle.