The odds were against Howard Stevenson. Born to a single mother in an underprivileged neighborhood in Indianapolis, Stevenson faced plenty of adversity growing up. It’s an all-too-common story, but Howard himself is anything but common; despite the circumstances of his youth, Howard has become a business owner and an educator who is currently pursuing a college degree. He couldn’t have done it without determination and hard work — and guidance from his local credit union.
Experience through Adversity
Today, Howard is the Lead Community Engager for an innovative education start-up. He currently teaches a course at Avondale Meadows Academy for the start-up, where he educates the students on the value of entrepreneurship and the importance of financial education. These young adults face the same situation Howard once did — lacking mentors and a solid grasp of personal finance. His goal is to change their lives by empowering them with financial education.
“Change doesn’t just happen. It has to be cultivated and encouraged. I wake up every day wanting to be a better version of myself. I want others to do the same. The truth is there is nothing in life you cannot achieve. You just have to believe it and go after it.” – Howard Stevenson
Howard has also worked hard to improve his own financial standing through his local credit union. He works closely with Forum Credit Union in an effort to improve his credit score. Howard has learned there are common credit score pitfalls that people, including himself, fall into. He has learned to pay his credit card balances off in full, stay on top of his payments, and have more than one open account. He has seen his credit score increase by over 100 points with the help of Forum Credit Union. In fact, the personalized service from the staff is exactly why Howard chose to utilize a credit union for his banking needs rather than a traditional bank.
“The staff at Forum Credit Union have been beyond instrumental in educating me about my financial well being. I am building a life long relationship that helps me personally, professionally and even spiritually. Money has always been a huge worry in my life and I’m learning to build better habits that allow me to life a more fruitful life.” – Howard Stevenson
Building for the Future
Howard has big plans for his future, including investing in real estate. Howard plans to work extensively with Forum Credit Union as his investment plans progress. Since he knows that part of his professional growth is becoming more financially savvy, he has set up monthly meetings with his banker at Forum so he can review his financial progress.
Howard knows he has much more to learn, and he’s being proactive about his future. But thanks to the personalized service and guidance he receives from Forum Credit Union, he’s on a mission to improve himself and take others with him — he just wishes he’d started sooner.