Arianna Akinwunmi - Great Accountants Start Here

Boys & Girls Clubs help young people learn smart financial habits and set goals.

How the Boys & Girls Club Helped Me Set Goals and Be the Change

Even as a young girl, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Collin County helped me realize that my dreams and the paths I choose are unlimited. I understood that I can make a positive change in this world when I stand up as a leader – and for me, that starts with an education and career in finance.

Growing up, my interest in finance was first nourished by my dad, a small business owner. He liked working with numbers and passed that trait on to me. At the Boys & Girls Club, I started seriously thinking about a business career as I excelled in math and tutored other kids.

Throughout my childhood and even now, I don’t see a lot of people who look like me working in the financial industry. I’m studying finance at the University of Texas at San Antonio to bring my skills and voice to the table. There’s a lot of work to be done to diversify the workplace, and I’m ready to be part of the change because of life-changing mentors and experiences at my Boys & Girls Club.

Leading the Way

At the Club, a day never passed without mentors like Mr. Jay and Ms. Debra listening to what was on my mind. My voice was heard and my messages mattered. I carry that with me today in many leadership positions on campus. As chapter president of the National Association of Black Accountants, I’m leading conversations and listening to my peers about what a diverse and inclusive workplace means to us.

A program at the Club called Money Matters: Make it Count also prepared me for the so-called “real world” after high school. I learned smart ways to spend a paycheck, when to set money aside in a savings account, and the benefits of applying for college scholarships. I’m saving up to move out of my parents’ house following graduation. 

It can be hard being a minority female pursuing finance and sometimes not feeling like I belong in the industry, but I know I can’t let negative perceptions stand in the way of achieving my goals. I want to share my knowledge so that every person, no matter their background, can establish healthy financial habits.

Building Skills & Exploring Interests

My first job also influenced my career path. While in high school, I was employed as a staff assistant at my Club. I learned that people recognize your potential when you show up for work with a positive attitude. 

I want to love the work that I do and I’ve tried out different jobs to discover what I enjoy most. Even though they weren’t the perfect fit, I added skills and experiences to my resume such as customer service at a burger joint and collaborating with a team at a tax firm. I’ve also worked internships at a sports team and a technology company. Every time I get paid, I contribute to my savings account like I learned to do in Money Matters.

With college graduation in sight, I plan to work in the financial industry for several years while building the groundwork for my own fashion design business. I wouldn’t have learned that I have many different interests and can combine them to do whatever I dream without the help of the Club. 

Great Accountants Start Here

Research shows that when we introduce young children to the world of work, they're more likely to dream big and connect what they're learning to future career opportunities. Starting as early as age 6, Boys & Girls Clubs help young people like Arianna explore their passions and interests, develop employability skills and apply knowledge in real-world settings, so they can become anything they can dream. Learn more about all the ways Clubs are preparing young people for college, careers and life.

Money Matters: Make it Count, supported by Charles Schwab Foundation, helps teens expand their knowledge of money management and learn skills that lead to financial independence and well-being. Find a Club near you and ask about Money Matters today. 


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