Make A Difference-Wisconsin
710 N. Plankinton Ave., Suite 310, Milwaukee
Make A Difference-Wisconsin Inc. was established in 2008 by Lloyd Levin as his response to a challenge made to move the city of Milwaukee forward.
Since then, the organization has been on the leading edge of financial literacy education.
Make A Difference-Wisconsin currently provides its classroom programs to more than 39,000 students at 79 schools throughout Wisconsin. Additionally, the organization recently partnered with manufacturing education program GPS Education Partners and now serves students in 12 manufacturing plants throughout the Milwaukee and Fox Valley areas.
The organization’s classroom program is based on three lessons spread over six lectures on various financial topics including budgeting, credit and banking.
Make A Difference utilizes a network of more than 650 active volunteers, mostly local business professionals, to offer the programming throughout the state. These volunteers deliver the course material while also sharing personal and professional experiences related to financial literacy and hands-on activities.
Students who complete the program are better prepared for the future. Statistics produced by the organization indicate that 79 percent of teens who completed the program stopped or decreased their use of check cashing stores, 81 percent utilized savings and money management tips, and even more are opening savings accounts and saving money.
In 2013, Make a Difference piloted its Money Coach program, which provides students with more one-on-one personal coaching about how to put the core program concepts into practice in their own lives. The program was delivered to 45 students during its pilot year and will expand to 150 students this year.
Annually, Make A Difference-Wisconsin hosts an Investment Conference designed to not only raise funds for the organization, but also to introduce the organization and its mission to new potential donors, volunteers and board members.
The event has raised about $618,000, and has grown exponentially – 750 percent from year one to year six.