UC Economic Center’s StEP Spotlights Madison’s Brad Meeks, CFA

For several years now, Brad Meeks, CFA, Senior Portfolio Manager, has shared his financial expertise and leadership skills with the Student Enterprise Program (StEP), a nationally recognized elementary school program launched by the University of Cincinnati Economics Center. StEP recently spotlighted Brad for his commitment to the program.

Adrijana Kowatsch, COO of the UC Economics Center states, “During Brad’s work with the Economics Center, he has been recognized for his excellent character, good ideas, and his drive by other members of the Economics Center’s Young Professionals board. Brad has been instrumental in helping to transform the Student Enterprise Program, one of the Economics Center’s flagship education initiatives.”

Brad is a board member and current President of the UC Economics Center’s Young Professionals group. In his effort to expand StEP, he works with local business partners and executives across Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky to recruit their organizations to partner with schools under the program. To date, StEP has grown to support 30 regional schools and serves over 6,000 students in the area.

Recently, Brad organized a visit to Amity Elementary in Deer Park, Madison Wealth Management’s StEP partner school, recruiting several Madison team members to volunteer. Along with Brad, team members Julie Albright, CFA, CFP, Mark Hogan, CWM, Sheila Adika, and Sheila Zenni spent the afternoon tutoring students. Volunteers help teachers and students learn about saving, investing, and the critical financial literacy skills needed to be effective participants in the regional and global economy. Volunteers meet four to six times throughout the year at local elementary schools, advising students on financial literacy and economic choices.

                                   Madison Team at Amity Elementary School in Deer Park

Schools that utilize StEP have shown a marked increase in student engagement, attendance, self-esteem, and academic achievement. Educator effectiveness has also increased. The program addresses two key educational needs at an early age: the need for classroom engagement and the need for 21st century skills related to entrepreneurship, critical-thinking, and financial responsibility. The program as a whole offers a unique approach to helping kids understand fundamental economic and financial concepts.

Brad and his Madison colleagues are committed to continue working with Amity Elementary students, helping to hone their financial literacy and sound economic choices. If you are interested in volunteering or partnering with a school, please contact Brad at [email protected] for more information.