In recognition of Financial Literacy Month, we salute Coast Capital Savings employee and JABC Volunteer Bonnie Kilistoff from Kelowna, BC. Thank you- you are helping empower BC youth for lifelong success!
When did you get involved with JABC?
I started doing financial literacy workshops for the teachers at my daughter’s high school back about 15 years ago. When Coast Capital became a sponsor of the Junior Achievement Dollars with Sense program in 2010, I could see the value that the program offered and I immediately jumped on board and got all my teacher contacts at 3 high schools in Langley signed up for the program.
What attracted you to volunteer?
I believe that financial success stems from good money habits established early in life. I wanted to make sure to give as many young people as possible the skills and knowledge they need to develop these good money habits.
What inspires you to stay involved?
In my day to day work, I continue to see many people struggle with money skills like budgeting, planning and goal setting. I hope that my efforts through Junior Achievement can have a positive impact on the lives of the young people that we deliver the workshops to.
Of what contribution or achievement are you most proud so far?
I am proud of the number of volunteers I have on boarded to the program and the schools and teachers I have introduced to the program. I encourage my team, as well as other professionals I encounter to sign up as volunteers.
What is the biggest personal benefit you receive as a volunteer?
A real sense of fulfilment through having an impact on my community by helping more and more young people to get a strong start in life through good money skills.
Do you have an anecdote about volunteering with JABC that really moved you?
A parent of one of the students wrote to the teacher after her daughter attended a workshop I facilitated. The mother commented that her daughter came home and talked about the experience of doing a family budget in my workshop – having to make difficult decisions to make ends meet. She realized how she had taken for granted all of the nice things they had and lovely vacations they took as a family and never thought about how much those things cost. The mother was grateful for her daughter having a new perspective on the value of money.
What would you tell someone who is thinking about volunteering?
Do it! In addition to the great service you are providing to the young people in the classes, you will also have opportunity for personal development in public speaking and facilitation.
Do you have a message to share?
I feel privileged to have the opportunity to share my passion for financial well-being with the young people in our community. Thank you Junior Achievement for providing the programs, structure, training and support.
Get involved with JABC! Visit jabc.ca/volunteer