Faces of NEFE: Raven Newberry, CashCourse Associate

Raven Newberry, CashCourse Associate, NEFERaven came to NEFE with a strong desire to help people pursue higher education. Raven is half of the dynamic two-person CashCourse team that provides free and unbiased financial tools and resources to more than 900 colleges and universities in the U.S.

DIGEST: How would you describe your job to a 5th grader?

RN: I help colleges teach their students how to manage their money.

DIGEST: Why did you initially pursue a position at NEFE?

RN: Right out of college, I served an AmeriCorps term of service with College Possible, a nonprofit that focuses both on college access and success. While there, I worked with students who faced many financial barriers, many of which could have been easily prevented either with better knowledge or confidence. For example, I worked with a student who had a tuition bill that had accidentally been charged twice to her account. She got so sick thinking about this bill that she was too nervous to even talk to the financial aid office, even though it had been their error. She ended up getting a number of late fees which compounded the whole situation. This problem could have been easily prevented if she didn’t have so much anxiety around bills. This is a common problem for a lot of people.

Of course that’s just one example, but working at College Possible is what first got me interested in financial education and demystifying money management. That experience also confirmed that I wanted to stay in the nonprofit sector. When I saw this position at NEFE, I felt it was a perfect fit since I had experience working within higher education and had a passion for financial literacy.

DIGEST: What have you enjoyed most about working for a nonprofit? Were you surprised about anything?

RN: I love the mission. I love that my job helps people. It feels amazing to be able to provide colleges with high-quality tools and resources at no cost. It is pretty common for colleges to not have a lot of extra money for financial literacy efforts, so to be able to connect them with CashCourse for free never gets old. Having seen firsthand the heartbreak of financial barriers makes this work incredibly gratifying for me. Knowing our work positively impacts students and can set them up for success for the rest of their lives — that’s easily my favorite part of this job.

At NEFE, I am most surprised by how far of a reach we have nationally, being that we are an organization of just over 20 people. Everyone here does so many different things, and it’s amazing to see the quality and volume of work that NEFE completes with such a small staff. For instance, CashCourse is just a two-person department and we work with over 900 schools.

DIGEST: What has been your favorite project or memory that you have experienced so far?

RN: I write our monthly e-newsletter, the CashCourse Connection. We try to feature a success story each edition where we profile a school’s financial education program that has really gone above and beyond. I love getting to highlight campus champions of financial literacy. Many college administrators or faculty are doing this on top of other job duties. It is great to be able to thank them for their hard work and share their efforts.

DIGEST: How has working at NEFE changed your perspective on personal finance?

RN: Generally, I do think about my own money management a lot more. I grew up in a frugal household, so I’ve always had a money-conscious mindset. Most of all, I think working at NEFE has given me the perspective that you have to find out what matters to you in life and put your money towards that. NEFE stresses there is no one correct way to be financially fit. You have to consider your values and then manage your money accordingly. Something that works for one person might not work for another.

DIGEST: What is your proudest achievement at NEFE so far?

RN: This past spring, I worked with four other NEFE staff members on a diversity task force. We examined current practices and made recommendations on strengthening NEFE’s ability to bring many different voices to the table. I’m really proud to have been part of this discussion and am excited to see NEFE’s work further strengthened through this commitment.

See the full Sept/Oct 2015 Digest or download the PDF.

Contacts

  • Paul Golden

    Media Relations Director

    Direct: 303-224-3514
    Cell: 303-918-3620
    [email protected]

  • Patricia (Pat) Seaman

    Senior Director of Marketing and Communications

    Direct: 303-224-3538
    [email protected]

Contacts

  • Paul Golden

    Media Relations Director

    Direct: 303-224-3514
    Cell: 303-918-3620
    [email protected]

  • Patricia (Pat) Seaman

    Senior Director of Marketing and Communications

    Direct: 303-224-3538
    [email protected]