UROP Fellowship: DCERP
Research Mentor(s): Crystal King, Associate Loan Officer and Joanna Dueweke-Perez, Operations & Programs Director
Research Mentor Institution/Department: ProsperUS Detroit
Presentation Date: Thursday, July 29th
Session: 5:30 – 7:00pm
Breakout Room: DCERP Showcase
Hello, everyone. My name is Ataia Templeton. She/her. I am a junior majoring in psychology and communications and media. During the duration of this program, I worked with ProsperUS Detroit. ProsperUS supports beginner entrepreneurs in Detroit, Hamtramck, and Highland Park. Typically, these entrepreneurs are low-to-moderate income, immigrant, of latine or Hispanic descent, or black. Their services from microlending to entrepreneurship training helps to empower the communities they serve.
My project this summer was to put together The Financial Coaching Resource Book. It was intended to be a short, but useful tool for the ProsperUS team to use when certain questions or concerns surrounding finances arise from their clients. Throughout the program, I did a lot of research on all things finances and financial health, from credit to bankruptcy to budgeting to setting financial goals. I was able to include a lot of information in the most concise yet understandable way.
Similar to most of ProsperUS’s clientele, I had very little knowledge or understanding of financial health. In many instances, Crystal King was able to help me understand the material I needed to engage with in order to complete in the resource book. In that process, I have come to admire them in so many ways. Their contentment with their career, their honesty about the reality of working in a nonprofit organization as a member of the very marginalized community that ProsperUS serves, and their leniency and understanding when I wasn’t the most productive.
I am not at all interested in any form of math (special thanks to Michigan Math!), but I had so much fun and with all the things I learned about nonprofit organizations, antiracism, and yes, financial health, I can move forward more confident in my choices for my continued education, my future career, and my personal wellbeing.