As a freshman in high school, Ryan Bravin discovered he wanted to be an architect. “I knew I would need to save and many scholarships only apply to four-year college programs, the University of Arizona Architecture Program is five years.” To afford these extended costs, Ryan applied for the Earn to Learn savings-to-scholarship program.

ryan-bravinIt was a rocky start to saving for Ryan. “I was taking Advanced Placement courses in high school and couldn’t find a job. Finally, I got a job at Culver’s and each month $50 went directly to my Earn to Learn savings.”

Still, finding balance in life, school, and work continued to be a challenge. Ryan admits that “after taking some time off from work to focus on life and school my bank account dipped, and I realized that I needed to look ahead and understand what costs I was responsible for.”

Ryan defines financial literacy as the ability to look at a situation and understand its meaning in your life. “If you’re working and in college, what are you going to do? If you get a paycheck, where is that money going to go?”

Ryan found the answers to many of these questions through the financial literacy courses provided through the Earn to Learn program. These courses, along with consistent family support, helped Ryan achieve his dream of attending architecture school.

Ryan’s brother Aaron is also an Earn to Learn saver, and the two brothers both completed all 12 of the SALT financial literacy courses. “We dedicated one hour per month to SALT until we finished all the courses. Most of the information was useful, but some did not apply to me and my family since we have a no-credit policy.”

Whether it’s sitting down to complete a course or getting to work on time, Ryan’s family rallies around him so that he can be successful. “My parents have always been present and created a home where family involvement is important.”

This foundation of support is what Ryan uses to find the balance he needs to get everything done. “My three siblings are very supportive. They help me get my chores done so I can study or rush to work. They also help protect my dreams of becoming an architect.”

It is clear that Ryan can reflect and quickly correct life’s setbacks by finding the support and resources necessary to make big dreams a reality. Best of luck, Ryan!

Posted on: October 19, 2016