Stacey Black leads free financial-education classes and webinars for the credit union.
Meet Stacey Black, a financial educator for BECU in Tukwila.
What do you do? My job is to help BECU members and the local community strengthen their financial health and literacy. I spend my time teaching classes and webinars for high school students and adults focused on the four pillars of financial health: save, spend, borrow and plan. My favorite topic to teach is budgeting because it’s such an important aspect of achieving financial health.
How did you get started in that field? I was actually going to school to become an elementary school teacher. To earn a little extra money while getting my degree, I decided to get a job as a teller at BECU. I really enjoyed how community-driven the credit union was and the people I worked with. So when I saw a job opening a few months later for a training assistant position, I jumped at the chance to get into a department that helps train BECU employees on all kinds of topics — from how to use Outlook to customer service — and I haven’t looked back. Since then I’ve continued to grow my career here at BECU, first becoming a teller trainer, then an instructor and now a financial educator, which I love.
What’s a typical day like? Most of my time is spent in high schools, teaching individual classes or presenting at an assembly for the whole school about growing and maintaining financial health. It’s so important to start these conversations about money early to help students build a strong financial foundation before they take on major life milestones. We try to make our presentation interactive and engaging for students, so that means I get to have fun, too!
What’s the best part of the job? Meeting new people! I love getting to interact with people of all ages and backgrounds. Everyone has a unique story and situation that makes each day so different and exciting. I love knowing that the financial lessons I’m teaching can help them as they become adults. The direct impact of my work is what really excites me about my job.
What surprises people about what you do? I think people are generally surprised that BECU offers so many financial resources and services in the first place – and most are free! Not only do we have financial educators like myself on staff, but there are people who connect with members by phone to walk them step-by-step through a Financial Health Check, setting up accounts, transfers and direct payments in real time to help get their finances in order. People are surprised to hear that there are people across every offering to help our members make the most informed decisions possible.
What feedback have you heard? I had a gentleman in class who was working on paying off his debt so he could eventually buy a house. A few years later he attended one of our First Time Homebuyer webinars and told me that the tips and tools he learned in the budgeting session got him to the point where he could buy his first home. I also see students out in the community that I’ve taught in high schools. I love hearing their stories and seeing how far they have come.