Frisco leadership helps students gain financial literacy

Frances Pérez is proud of her Hispanic origins and enjoys chatting with others about her traditions and customs.

Celebrations with family and friends always involve huge crowds and lots of food, usually a Puerto Rican-style roast pork and lots of sides.

But it’s not just sharing his legacy that makes Pérez happy. She has a passion for teaching others financial literacy.

As Assistant Vice President of Training and Leadership Development at Plano-based InTouch Credit Union, the Frisco resident wants to help others have better livelihoods, a healthy budget, and help them break the circle. vicious that afflicts many families.

“A lot of people have two or three jobs and don’t advance,” she said. “It’s about learning and applying that knowledge to your day-to-day activities.”

From helping middle schoolers understand money and its value to teaching students about investments and the stock market, Pérez has helped develop several programs within the community.

In high schools, his leadership team teaches students real-life budgeting experiences. Students are given a profile that breaks down the details of a specific financial situation, including whether the person is married and how many children they have, what their occupation is, including salary, and how much their mortgage bill is each month.

They learn that spending money on clothes and appearance before paying their bills can lead to trouble.

“When they spend more money than they have, it’s really telling,” Pérez said.

A pupil told him: “Now I understand, when I ask my mother something and she says ‘No, we don’t have the money for that at the moment’, I understand.”

“It’s a great experience, helping them prepare when they go to college, helping them learn how to manage their own money,” she said.

Pérez said holding her title is a great honor and responsibility, and it all stemmed from a job she had back home in Puerto Rico while working with a cruise line.

“I had the opportunity to attend a supervisor course and use the information to create a training course for our part-time supervisors, which I greatly appreciated,” she said. .

When Pérez moved to Orlando, she began working with a local credit union, returning to her roots in the financial industry.

“After a few years a position as a trainer opened up and remembering how much I enjoyed facilitating this training course, I decided to give it a shot,” she said. “In 2002 I was hired in-house for the trainer position and 20 years later I still love what I do.”

Now, she collaborates with leaders across the organization creating learning and development opportunities for employees.

As a high-profile Latina in banking, Pérez said she enjoys sharing her Hispanic heritage with others.

For the December holidays, especially on Christmas Eve, Pérez said his family’s must-haves include typical Puerto Rican dishes: arroz con gandules (pigeon pea rice), pork shoulder, and pastels, which are like tamales.

For pastels, the dough is made with different types of root vegetables including yuca, green bananas or green plantains. It is filled with cooked pork or chicken, wrapped in green banana leaves, tied in parchment paper packets, and boiled until the masa is cooked through.

Pérez said she often finds, regardless of culture, people have a lot more in common than they realize.

“We can always find where we are connected as human beings,” she said. “‘We are part of one race, the human race.’

Geraldine L. Melton