In February 2018, Sequoia Clay rejoined the CFFL as a Program Coordinator responsible for managing collegiate initiatives and outreach on the campuses of the Atlanta University Center. Sequoia graduated from Spelman College in 2015 with a B.A. in Economics/Management and Organization. She recently shared details of her experience with the organization as a student and why she decided to give back to help current students now that she has started her professional career.
How did you first hear about the CFFL and what was your initial involvement as a student?
I was a sophomore in college looking to be a part of a financial literacy organization. It is not surprising that I first heard about CFFL through a simple google search. I reached out to the email provided on the CFFL website and immediately received a call from the director, Rod Batiste! He happened to be working on trying to facilitate a financial literacy session on a college campus, so I jumped on the opportunity to help! Since then, CFFL has remained a Spelman organization that continues to engage students with personal finance workshops. It is crazy how things come together when you just take that leap of faith!
What impact do you feel your program participation had on you and your classmates at Spelman?
I feel CFFL has made a HUGE impact on me as well as my classmates at Spelman, because before there weren’t any personal finance organizations/outlets on campus. I was raised by a single black mother and growing up, I was never exposed to investing or building credit. CFFL has allowed me to build my financial awareness and gave me the confidence to help my peers in understanding the concepts of budgeting and building credit.
What prompted you to reengage with the organization now that you have started your career?
I moved back to Atlanta to pursue a career in healthcare consulting. As my personal finance knowledge learned from being a part of CFFL has been very useful, I have realized that I have even more learning to do in order to take advantage of my new job and salary. I believe that this translates for many students who enter into the work force post-graduation. Many graduates like me want to maximize on their savings and quickly build wealth to potentially “retire” early (versus waiting until the “retiring age” of 65). These factors fueled my desire and interest to reengage with CFFL. I am a financial independence advocate and CFFL provides an excellent platform to create programs that expose young people to the benefits and opportunities of financial awareness.
What would you like to see the program become in the future?
I would like for CFFL to continue to build and expand its reach, because this platform has the potential to affect positive change for the black community. According to The Survey of Consumer Finance Data created by the Federal Reserve bank, more 1/4 black households have a zero or negative net worth, compared to less than 1/10 white families without wealth, which explains the large differences in the racial wealth gap. My hope is that CFFL continues to strategize, grow, and do the work necessary in building a new generation of financially empowered people!