Teal Powell-Mckinzie named a Schwab Scholar in Financial Planning

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Teal Powell-Mckinzie was recently named a Charles Schwab Foundation Scholar in Financial Planning. The first in her family to attend university, Teal is a junior at Texas Tech University studying Financial Planning with a dream of motivating young women of color like herself to become financially literate so they can live comfortable, happy lives. She explains, “I feel like people of color in general lack the resources and education necessary to become financially literate. By getting a degree in financial planning and obtaining my CFP license, I aspire to be a living example that will inspire other people of color to do the same – they’ll see that if I can do this, they can too, and we’ll achieve more racial diversity in the financial planning industry.” 

Teal recalls her Lubbock childhood as having been rich with family, friends and sports, but a financial struggle for her parents. “My parents never discussed money with us, but the more I grew up and watched, the more obvious it was that we couldn’t afford things,” she explains. She was 16 when she took her first job, a position at McDonald’s that gave her some financial independence. “When I started receiving paychecks, that was a real learning experience. I had no understanding of how to save money and I was afraid to ask my parents, so I decided to teach myself and spent time researching money basics on the Internet.” 

Today Teal is a Charles Schwab Foundation Scholar in Financial Planning, receiving $10,000 per year in scholarship funds for two years, supporting her studies through graduation. She also receives voluntary mentorship and professional development opportunities to help prepare her for a successful career in financial services, including a guaranteed interview for the firm’s Internship Academy, a FINRA SIE voucher, resume review, and interview prep. 

“When I learned I got the scholarship, I felt amazing, so very happy. It means I won’t have to rely on student loans as much, so I’ll have less debt when I graduate,” said Teal. “It also makes me feel like I’m really accomplishing something – that I’m showing my family, my younger nieces, what is possible with education and hard work.” 

Teal calls students of color who are considering a financial planning program to action, saying “Do it! Diversity within the financial planning field is so important because it will open doors for people of color and break generational cycles of poverty due to lack of financial literacy. We need you!” 

The Scholars in Financial Planning endowment is one of several scholarship programs funded through Charles Schwab Foundation to develop and attract diverse talent by recruiting from underrepresented communities, including women, people of color, people with disabilities, and people with military backgrounds. It is one of the Board-approved diversity and inclusion efforts announced by the Schwab Executive Council last year. More information about Schwab’s commitment to diversity is available on the firm’s Diversity & Inclusion website

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