Faces of NEFE: Kimberly Roy, HSFPP Manager

Kimberly Roy, HSFPP’s new program manager Kimberly Roy first met Juwon Melvin when she worked for the Mile High United Way’s Individual Development Account (IDA) program. Melvin was a sophomore in college and applying for an IDA to earn matching funds to start his first business, DreamReel Media.

“What I remember most about Juwon was that he had such big dreams,” Roy says. Roy recalls being impressed by DreamReel’s mission to inspire low-income and first-generation college students.

“Even with his own challenges, Juwon’s thought was still, ‘How do I pull other kids up from the bottom?’” Roy says.

In February 2014, Roy joined NEFE as manager of the High School Financial Planning Program.

Roy is a Colorado native with a passion for and experience teaching and coordinating financial education for underserved and vulnerable populations. While earning her bachelor’s degree from the University of Evansville in Indiana, Roy studied abroad in France and Argentina.

In Argentina, Roy saw how macroeconomic policies impact socioeconomic issues such as unemployment and baby trafficking.

“I was a vegetarian for 15 years as a promise to the kids I met in Argentina because I never wanted to take lightly the taking of a life, the way that the baby traffickers took for granted the lives of those children,” Roy says.

Roy went on to earn her master’s degree in Foreign Service from Georgetown University. She worked as a telecommunications analyst and taught English and financial education to refugees before joining Mile High United Way.

“I was hired to teach Somali-Bantu refugees how to do things like balance a checkbook, but many of them came from bartering communities and had never even held a pencil,” Roy says. “I had to start with basics like how to read numbers. I would say one sentence and the translator would tell a 30-minute story. That is when I realized the importance of cultural translation and context when teaching financial capability.”

Connecting underserved populations with financial education has been a theme throughout Roy’s career. When it comes to reaching young people like Juwon Melvin, Roy says a lot can be learned from the Hinkley Finance Club model.

“If someone feels like they can’t buy a house, save for retirement, or start a business because of where they live or how many resources they have at the moment, then it’s easy for that person to tune out,” Roy says. “Giving these students real assets and teaching them to do the math themselves is powerful because it gives them hope. It shows in concrete terms that small decisions—especially when it comes to saving and investing—can have big impact.”

Roy hopes to continue exploring ways to reach diverse communities in her work with HSFPP.

“NEFE is a major game changer because it offers free, unbiased, noncommercial tools and resources to such a wide variety of organizations,” Roy says. “I am thrilled to be a part of this work and to take advantage of these amazing opportunities to make a difference on a broad national scale.”

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]