Jun 14, 2019

NGPF Podcast: How Iowa Student Loan Team Members Marc Hendel, Julie Cahalan and Gary Adams Served Their Local Community

Marc, Julie and Gary share their experiences running four personal finance workshops at Harding Middle School in Des Moines. "The sooner the better" is a great answer to the question, "what is the right age for students to receive financial education?" Listen to the highlights of their work in the classroom as well as their observations about what middle school students are most interested in when it comes to money. Enjoy!


  • 0:00~1:54 Introduction
  • 1:54~5:02 What Mark, Gary, and Julie do for their day job
  • 5:02~9:47 Student loan issues students are facing today
  • 9:47~15:28 Source of passion for financial education
  • 15:28~18:35 What students need to know when they graduate high school
  • 18:35~22:19 Encouraging students to consider their future
  • 22:19~22:43 A word from NGPF
  • 22:43~26:08 Lessons students are interested in
  • 26:08~28:23 Difficulties of teaching the far future
  • 28:23~35:17 Memorable moments from class
  • 35:17~37:11 Regarding the essay contest
  • 37:11~42:09 The future of working with schools
  • 42:09~43:28 Conclusion 



  • “I think that the average family out there really doesn’t know what to expect. I think the sooner we can reach out to people and say ‘this is the situation, this is what you need to plan for,’ the earlier they can make a realistic plan.” -Julie
  • “I noticed that the students really wanted an interactive type of learning experience. The first day was more about a conversation and this became quickly boring for them and I quickly realized we really needed to be more interactive. You can tell [through interactive activities] that they get more experience and they learn quite a bit about themselves as well as each other.” -Gary
  • “Instead of covering one topic at a time and boring the students, we are going to jump around two or three topics per session to keep them engaged. They will be related to each other, obviously, but we are going to try to make it as interesting as we can.” -Mark

About the Authors

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.

Ren Makino

Ren started interning at NGPF in 2014, and worked part-time through high school and college. With his knowledge growing alongside NGPF, he joined the team to work full-time after graduating from college in 2020. He is also the producer of the NGPF podcast. During his free time, he likes to try out coffees from different roasters across the world.

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