Kevin Mondy discusses Comerica Bank, importance of financial education

Kevin Mondy discusses Comerica Bank, importance of financial education
Photo courtesy of Kevin Mondy

Kevin Mondy is the executive director for “Project Still I Rise.” Mondy is committed to championing social change and creating equitable opportunities for youth in communities that lack access to proper resources. His advocacy for youth and community development is genuinely making a positive impact.

What led you to the idea of this institution?

Our mission is to empower today’s youth for tomorrow’s opportunities. I think within our mission, it states it very well. We are here to build a new nation or the rise of young folks to take advantage of the opportunities that we have on the table right now to lead us in the next 25, 30 years. We would like to say that they are innovators on the block. They have a lot of innovation and drive, but sometimes they lack the direction or lack avenues to put their positive energies or their ideas in — so we become that vehicle in the community along with other institutions where we come alongside them to help their dreams come true.

What is it like having a partnership with Comerica Bank?

Our partnership with Comerica Bank has been outstanding and has been developed over the last 20 years. We know what they do well in their wheelhouse, and we take what they do well, which is financial education and helping build a foundation for entrepreneurship. They also have a great and unique talent pool of employees and suppliers within their network. We develop core programs around what they do best. When you think about financial education, there’s no student that comes into our program that doesn’t touch a financial education program that they had within their wheelhouse. So we’ve been able to train not only students but parents on smart financial principles through the financial boot camps that they offer.

As an institution builder, who has motivated you?

I would say my dad and where I grew up. I grew up in a [small] middle-class neighborhood, but on my street, we probably had seven business owners. They would always talk to us and all the guys hanging on the street about starting a business. Everybody had an opportunity to at least go work for somebody, so I would say I looked at my street and my dad and what he was doing in construction. That kind of helped shape the drive of who I am today. I will say today I look at Mr. Irvin Ashford and what he’s doing around philanthropy, and being a community builder from his standpoint with Comerica Bank, so he’s probably one of my closest mentors and icons that I look at. As a brother, I speak with David Miller, who’s in D.C. now. I look at the young brothers of Earn Your Leisure.  I look for those tangible folks that I can touch every day and reach back out to, but [I] also look at those folks from afar that I can learn from and share.

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