A Very Merry Academic Spotlight

By: Hannah Moore

Meet Grant Frailich, our jolly tutor spotlight for December! Grant was first inspired to teach when he saw the impact his older brother had on young learners.

Grant's favorite subject is math, but he's also super enthusiastic about encouraging students to read. "Read! Every single day, pick up a book and read some of it. Reading takes you to any world you want to visit and it's fun!" He is passionate about each and every student in the world receiving access to quality education.

Grant grew up in Phoenix so he's no stranger to the desert! He enjoys working our (preferably when it's not too hot), and spending time with his girlfriend and baby cousins. You're a swell person, Grant! Thanks for all that you do!

World traveling tutor spotlight

By: Hannah Moore

Greetings to our citizen of the world tutor, Katherine Coakley! Katherine was born in West Germany, raised in the midwest, and explored her teens in Thailand before settling back into the U.S. her junior year of high school. She is currently an instructional assistant for elementary grades 2-5, and brings much needed harmony to the classroom. “If students need to stand up for what is right, then they should do so, but gently. They should try their best to eliminate anger, jealousy, hatred of others, and prejudice from their behavior. Always replace the negatives with positives by showing kindness!” Katherine has a passion for language arts and the joy of learning. She also likes to point out how students humble themselves in a learning environment: “They willingly surrender their minds, hearts, ears, and oftentimes, their voices to teachers for the sole benefit of acquiring knowledge. Keep doing what you’re doing, Katherine. We’re honored to have you as part of the Andson family!

New Sites and Tutors’ Bright Lights

By: Hannah Moore

When Andson added their Homework Help program to Whitney Library, we knew just who to call: terrific tutors Theresa Weir and Pam Locascio! Theresa and Pam are no strangers to helping students excel, so naturally they were the perfect candidates to take on our new location. Get to know a little more about them below!

 

Theresa Weir is an art teacher during the day for grades 1-5. She also:

  • taught in Florida before coming to Las Vegas.

  • is a major bingo enthusiast!

  • loves painting murals, hiking, and traveling...she does it all!

 

Theresa’s favorite part about tutoring and teaching is “Developing relationships with students and watching them learn and grow.

Her best advice to young learners is “Work hard in school.  Go to college so you can have a great career.

 

Pam Locascio is a GATE teacher during the day for grades 3-5. But did you know she also:

  • has been teaching for 27 years (20 at CCSD).

  • loves chess and is a sudoku master.

  • creates crafty gifts such as her famous “Glow Glitter Cannisters.” Ask her about these  if you get the chance...they’re amazing!

 

Pam’s favorite thing about tutoring and teaching is “The Light Bulb Syndrome - seeing a child’s face light up when a difficult concept is finally understood!

Her best advice to young learners is “Be a reader to become a writer.  Don’t be afraid to make a mistake because a mistake is just an opportunity to learn.

    

Keep on shining bright, Andson tutors!

 

 

Andson Teams Up With MyPath!

By: Hannah Moore

Andson is proud to announce our involvement with MyPath! MyPath is a workforce development program that radically alters the fiscal lives of those in situations of low income or poverty. MyPath’s objective is to empower youth through economic mobility, and they do so by providing training and curriculum for community leaders to implement. Andson’s passion for financial literacy supplements their application-based approach perfectly. Combining their focus on the power of savings, with our detailed finance lessons is a mighty force to be reckoned with. Andson plans to work with Nevada Partners, Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Nevada, amongst other nonprofits to reach the goal of financial capability for more youth and young adults in our community. To learn more, or get involved, be sure to keep checking back on our website for updates on MyPath.

Elliott's a Champion!

By: Hannah Moore

As the 2016 Olympics kick into high gear, we want to acknowledge one of Andson’s very own astounding athletes, intern Elliott Davis. Elliott is a champion runner of the Junior Olympics, Region 15. The Junior Olympics is a training program that exposes young athletes to once in a lifetime competition opportunities.

Elliott was inspired to start running by listening to stories of his mom’s experience with college track. He’s been committed to training since his first year of high school. What keeps Elliott motivated when the going gets rough? “Our races are usually filmed, so every race, even if I lose, I get to find out exactly what I need to do next time to win. I can see what I did wrong and move forward from there,” he explained. Elliott just graduated high school and plans on attending Central Arizona College on a full scholarship. He wants to major in sports related marketing and business to assist with his blossoming track career, and also enjoys graphic design. His advice to other runners is straightforward and honest, “It’s going to hurt, no matter what. The workouts and practices are going to hurt every day, but you get to expose yourself to really important people in the end. It also helps to write your goals down.” Well said Elliott. This is his second summer interning with Andson. We look forward to seeing him go for the gold!

Our Exceptional Volunteers

Volunteer. Many images might come to mind when one comes across this word; an individual serving at a soup kitchen, someone taking care of dogs at the shelter, that person in the parking lot asking if you’re registered to vote. What comes to our mind here at Andson? Someone with a pencil, patience, and a passion. A passion to help the students of CCSD do their best. Meet some of our amazing volunteers below:

Rithy:

It’s time to introduce our wonder volunteer, Rithy Khim! Rithy is currently attending UNLV and has passion for chemistry. He aspires to one day graduate from Roseman University with a PHD in Pharmacy! Rithy spends his time with Andson as a volunteer tutor at The Gay & Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada. “I’ve always wanted to help people by giving them something that they could keep forever,” he shared. “I realized that that something is knowledge. That’s why I became a tutor: to spread knowledge.” In his spare time Rithy loves swimming, listening to music, and training in Tae Kwon Do. He was even captain of the Clark Swim Team in High School! Thanks for all of your time and dedication, Rithy!

Lorraine:

Meet Lorraine Kerr, our voyaging volunteer! She loves sailing the ocean and traveling across the globe. Her adventures brought her all the way from Toronto, Canada to right here in Las Vegas! Lorraine teaches all grade levels at Bridger Middle School and her favorite subject is math. “I encourage my students to always ask questions. I’m passionate about ALL children receiving a great education,” she enthusiastically explained. Lorraine has two Cairn Terriers that she considers to be just like her students, “One is hyperactive and one is very shy; very similar to the personality mix you’ll find at any school!” Thank you for everything you do, Lorraine!


Lorraine and Rithy are just two of many wonderful volunteers we’re honored to have on our team. Whatever task it may be, and whatever organization it may be for, volunteer work is crucial for the positive changes that we see affecting lives all over the globe. Volunteering is good for the volunteer themselves too. Reaching out to others fosters a sense of purpose, peace of mind, and emotional well being. To each and every volunteer out there, thank you.

Andson Money Review: Financial stability on the go!

By: Hannah Moore

Hello internet users and perusers! We are here today to help you be the boss of your budget in the digital age. The rise of online banking and financial technology makes taking control of our money more accessible than ever before! But with a world of options at our fingertips, how do we know which money management app is best? Well, it's not so much a question of which is "best" rather than which is best for YOU. Below we have three Andson-written reviews of popular money management applications, along with a fantastic outside resource on how to sift out what does and doesn't work for your own financial style:

Mint:

Mint can do it all! Mint's main attraction is that it syncs directly with all of your accounts and pulls them into one central hub. Whether it be checking, savings, credit, or even investments, the app displays it all in a user friendly list-type view. Mint then shows user's spending by category in easy to interpret circle graphs. These visual aids help to create a budget in no time.

Mvelopes:

Are you the pencil and paper type? Well you're in luck, this app is great for people who have a tendency to write reminders on whatever surface they can find! Mvelopes is geared toward saving as your main priority, and makes this happen by allowing the user to separate out bills and other costs into digital envelopes. It even has the capability to record your receipts and other paper transactions. Though this app is on your screen, the labeled envelopes give it a more tangible feel of monetary organization.

Level Money:

Though this could be said about any money management tool, Level Money really zeros in on smart spending for the user. It informs users what they can spend "safely" each day based on income and expenses. It also displays where, when, and how they're spending their money each month in categories such as Food, Ridesharing (like Uber), and Entertainment. This tracking is great for creating a personalized but flexible budget.

Still confused on what direction to take? Policygenius.com cleverly breaks down 14 different apps into a “best money management for you” graphic, with short descriptions for each underneath. Give their article a click: https://www.policygenius.com/blog/money-management-apps-2x2/

It’s also helpful to be aware of the fact that money management/mobile banking apps will continue to evolve over time, and may vary from institution to institution. Choose an app that is relevant to your personal preferences and needs! Most importantly, don’t forget about online safety. Here are nine tips to keep you protected:

1.    Use strong passwords for all your accounts.

2.    Use security software.

3.    Don’t modify your phone.

4.    Report a lost or stolen device.

5.    Only download apps from a trusted source.

6.    Don’t open suspicious or unexpected attachments.

7.    Keep Bluetooth turned off when conducting mobile banking activity.

8.    Use secure networks.

9.    Review your accounts on a daily basis.


Andson Access and Sean's Success

By: Hannah Moore

Andson Access is Andson's non-profit networking program. Organizations and philanthropic individuals can sometimes have difficulty finding their way into each other's lives, so we step in to help make those connections! One particular young and caring individual, Sean Avne, recently completed an internship with the Global Charity Foundation through Andson Access. "I first came into contact with Andson Access through Anthony himself. Being able to learn more about non-profit companies seemed very interesting to me," he explained, "I then met Dr. Thukral of the Global Charity Foundation at an Andson-sponsored Tesla event. She was in need of an assistant, and I fit the bill!" The job consisted of Sean filling out grant applications, preparing for the annual gala, and using new technologies. "Being a part of Global Charity Foundation and working with Dr. Thukral was a fantastic experience!" The internship allowed Sean to take his UNLV class studies and apply them to real-world situations, which he thoroughly enjoyed. Through Andson Access, Andson provides hands-on experience to college students, better preparing them for whatever life may throw their way. Way to go, Sean!

Teacher Appreciation Week 2016

Just a few of our wonderful tutors.

By Hannah Moore

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, we want to take a moment to talk about our tutors. Not only do they teach in CCSD schools 5 days a week, they also spend endless hours, often on their own dime, grading papers, organizing materials, purchasing supplies, and doing countless other tasks outside of the classroom. On top of that, they choose to spend what little free time they may have helping the students of Andson. To call them selfless would be an understatement. This jam-packed schedule doesn't keep them from being super enthusiastic either; our teacher-tutors are always smiling, patient, and full of knowledgable energy to share in any learning environment. So, in the most genuine of heart, we want to say thank you. Thank you for all you are, and for all you do.

Have you thanked a teacher today?

Andson Review - Banking Made Simple!

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By Hannah Moore

First and foremost, Andson is not compensated for this endorsement. We just like to share what works for us!

Of the various resolutions we see come time and time again every New Year's, financial goals are a popular recurrence. As 2016 starts to unfold, Andson wants to help bring personal and financial resolutions to life and longevity. We are always on the lookout for new and innovative ways to get people psyched about how they handle their money, and saving!

So Anthony set out on an investigative adventure for simpler banking... with Simple! Many banking apps are second in priority to the actual physical bank they are attached to. This results in the app being unavailable due to constant maintenance, or just having a general non user friendly system. "Because of my experience with banks who put little effort into their mobile banking, I became interested in finding ones with a great mobile friendly system," he explained. "Simple caught my attention very quickly!"

Simple Menu Page

Payment & Transfer Page

Anthony received a personal inquiry response within 24 hours.

Simple is a personal banking system that lets users take complete organizational control of their income and expenses. There are two components: the app itself, and a Visa card. You begin your journey with Simple through an uncomplicated application process. Then, after your card arrives in the mail, you can start customizing your finances on the Simple app. The app has an easy-to-use budgeting feature and even allows you to set savings goals. Simple is partnered with Bancorp Bank and is FDIC insured. "There are no fees and the card can be used at any ATM. The packaging that the card arrives in , and the card itself are also quite nice looking. I can't wait to explore more of the app's functions," Anthony reported. We will continue to catalog his time spent with Simple right here on the Andson blog. Check back soon for more updates!


Financial Mentoring: Anthony McTaggart writes for Edutopia

 

By Hannah Moore

Our committed and charismatic COO Mr. Anthony McTaggart is at it again! The popular educational resource website, Edutopia, has published a piece by Anthony about the importance of integrated financial literacy in all communities. And what exactly do we mean by integrated? "Financial education, literacy, curriculum, or planning -- whatever you want to call it, doesn't go as far if you don't pair it with practice," Anthony relayed to readers of Edutopia. "This was the idea that spurred the revolution we now see in Southern Nevada. We have students actively involved in learning about personal finance while actually saving money weekly," he continues on in the article. Andson's financial literacy program, Andson Money, has developed curriculum based on national standards. It covers everything from the basics of needs vs wants, to how advertising can influence a consumer's purchase choice. Andson strives to provide unique, engaging lessons in personal financial education to youth grades K-12. Anthony shared this information and more with the intent of guiding groups and educators who are interested in starting financial literacy in their own community.

The article can be found at the link HERE.

 

 

Piggy Bank Returns To Hollingsworth

by Hannah Moore

October 14th was a big day-- It was the grand re-opening of the Piggy Bank Program at Hollingsworth Elementary School! Through a collaboration with Andson, United Way’s Young Philanthropist Society, Silver State Schools Credit Union, and Hollingsworth faculty, the students and trained staff members facilitate the savings program every fall session. October 14th marked the second year in which the Piggy Bank has been operational.  “The kids were so overwhelmingly excited! The bar was raised with their returning enthusiasm for the Piggy Bank,” said Andson Money program director Diana Ritchie. Students were heard sharing without prompt what they wanted to save for, and it was a lot! Everything from cars, to college, to a house for their parents was being pursued. “Seeing the students walk away with a smile, excited to tell me when they’ll bring in their next deposit was so rewarding!” Diana swooned. One student even discovered in a conversation that he would like to be the first person in his family to go to college. Hollingsworth deposit amount... $881.34! That's almost $200 more than the deposit on the 1st day last year. It was quite a successful day and definitely a signifier of a successful year! We look forward to growing with you Hollingsworth!

Watch the video below to learn more about Andson Money and the Piggy Bank Program:

Nevada Banker's Association

by Hannah Moore

Andson has been featured on the front page of the Nevada Banker’s Association News Bulletin for September 2015! The piece provides a wonderful overview of all Andson programs, as well as insight from Anthony and Sonia. The main spotlight is focused on the inner workings of Andson Money, our financial literacy program. “The core curriculum for Andson Money was developed by Andson, and it is continually updated and amended to meet the needs of each demographic of students being served. Andson Money strives to provide meaningful financial education lessons to youth,” they reported. They also note the key role that academics play in financial education, and discuss our after school and summer outreaches. “At Andson, the primary goal is to support the vital aspects of development, equipping students with the necessary life skills to close the education gap and avoid the financial crises that often plague the adult lives of at risk, disadvantaged youth,” NBA writes. To read the whole feature, click on the images below!

Credit One

by Hannah Moore

We’ve just made a huge stride here at Andson, thanks to Credit One, who has recently awarded us with a $50,000 grant!!! We took a moment to speak with COO Anthony McTaggart about this INCREDIBLE news:

How did you hear about this grant opportunity?

“I heard about it through UNLV's Grantwell Program. I would describe the program as an immersive capstone for public administration graduate students. It puts them in the process of fielding grant applications for donors after receiving interest from them. In other words, you can approach UNLV with the money you wish to donate, and these students will go through the granting process for you. Credit One decided to approach this program, and Andson applied to be a recipient of their funds. It’s taken from a similar program at BYU.”

Was there something different or unique about the process of this particular grant in comparison to previous ones?

“It was very interactive. The idea that the students are so involved, that they come back and ask you questions and want your feedback is so much fun. It’s a little more personal and specific to our community. It’s pretty cool.”

How will you go about allocating the funds to programs within Andson and our schools?  

“These funds will be used for our financial literacy program at four Turnaround schools in the Clark County School District. Bailey and O’Callaghan Middle Schools, and Mojave and Sunrise Mountain High Schools in grade levels 7,11, and 12. We’ll be targeting 2,022 students between these schools from September 2015 to May 2016.”

How do you feel this award will help to propel our programs even further?

“We’ve never had four schools funded at once by one donor. And two of these are middle schools that feed into the other high schools, so it’s really exciting that it’s turning into systematic change. It will be the start of setting a landscape, so potentially a student can be with Andson starting in kindergarten and all the way into their senior year of high school. That’s our dream.”

Any advice you’ve taken away from this experience that you could offer to other “young” foundations?

“When you start a non-profit, you think you have an idea of who’s going to fund you. But then you go out there and get denied a lot. Time and energy has been so helpful with moving forward. In the first five years of what we’ve done, it was just about getting out there and doing it. Being reliable and doing the work. Not always getting the funding that we needed, but building a foundation for people to trust in our work. You’ve gotta be able to prove you’re in it for the long run.”


Wonderful insights from a wonderful leader! And a BIG thank you from the bottom of our hearts to both Credit One and Grantwell for giving us and our students this spectacular opportunity!!

Cabanas For A Cause

by Hannah Moore

Monday July 27th, 2015 was Andson’s very first time participating in Cabanas for a Cause and wow-- what a way to kick off the week! Cabanas for a Cause is a local charity event through the Palms Pool & Dayclub, where the proceeds of cabana sales for a day, go to a selected non-profit. So, as long as you mention the foundation's name when booking a cabana, they will receive 100% of the profits! The cabanas were priced at $100 and came equipped with a flat screen TV, mini fridge, ceiling fan, speakers, and enough seating for up to 10 people. Outside of each cabana was a daybed with plenty of towels and an umbrella. We caught up with Andson employee Nevena Cvijetic in her cabana, and asked for three words to describe how her poolside day was going, “Mellow, relaxing, and fun,” she smiled. Looking out over the crowd, another two words we would use to describe the event would be family-friendly! Several kids giggled and splashed around in the water as parents watched carefully from the sidelines. There were even a bunch of inflatable pool toys in the shape of sunscreen bottles available for everyone. Overall, it was a fun and worthwhile summer experience, and we hope to participate again! And if anyone is wondering, the girls were NOT there on company time (: Andson is lucky to have dedicated employees that were excited to support the cause.

May's Tutor of the Month - Cheryl Hecksher

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Let’s give a warm welcome to our newest tutor of the month, Cheryl Hecksher! Cheryl is originally from Los Angeles but before moving to Las Vegas 12 years ago, she spent many years in Tulsa, Oklahoma and Mexico City. She is fluent in Spanish and loves Mexican food and music. Becoming a teacher was always one of her life’s ambitions, but she was not able to attend college until later in life. Immediately after obtaining her degree though, she moved to Las Vegas to pursue a teaching credential and a job. She is now in her 11th year of teaching. She has taught 2nd, 3rd, and 5th grades, as well as Adult ESL (English as a second language). “My favorite thing about teaching is working side-by-side with students who may be struggling and then seeing that moment when they finally ‘get it’,” Cheryl told us. She hopes to get better and better at teaching every year to help at-risk students close the achievement gap. To reach that goal, she plans on obtaining her National Board Certification within the next few years. She currently teaches 2nd grade and tutors 4th grade through Andson at Sunrise Acres Elementary School. She enjoys working with students of all ages.

Cheryl has many hobbies including: travel, genealogy, and reading historical fiction. However, she is most passionate about art. She has even had the opportunity to travel to Florence, Italy about ten years ago. In Florence, she was able to see many of the Renaissance masterpieces, like Michelangelo’s David in person, which she had studied and written about in college. “It was an unforgettable experience,” she exclaimed. She plans on traveling throughout the world experiencing the art of many different cultures in the years to come. We are grateful that Cheryl is sharing some of her enthusiasm and passion with Andson and our students.

Why You Should Invest In Making Memories

RoniNY

by Hannah Moore

Does the ability to physically grasp something mean it will have a lasting positive effect on us? "There's a very logical assumption that most people make when spending their money: that because a physical object will last longer, it will make us happier for a longer time," writes Jay Cassano. He's analyzing a theory (proposed by Dr.Thomas Gilovich of Cornell University) that experiences, although ephemeral in nature, keep people genuinely happier than buying new material items. The idea in summation is this: we get used to being around the same physical object over time, so it's value to us diminishes. But an experience like travel or a concert especially with loved ones becomes an ingrained part of you, rather than something that's just around your presence. "You can really like your material stuff. You can even think that part of your identity is connected to those things, but nonetheless they remain separate from you. In contrast, your experiences really are part of you. We are the sum total of our experiences," states Dr. Gilovich. The article then goes on to discuss why people tend towards purchasing instead of experiencing even though one outweighs the other in arguable benefits. All in all, both Jay Cassano and Dr. Thomas make for compelling and truthful food for thought that could change anyone's life with a simple read through of their insight.

Read the full article here.

Knowing Your Stuff - Money Edition

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By Hannah Moore

How financially literate do you think you are in comparison to the rest of the general American public? Take this simple yet revealing quiz to find out. Don't feel bad if you fall short. Statistically, most people do. Even folks with a post secondary education do. The numbers show that 55.7% of Americans with college degrees answered at least one of the three questions incorrectly. The point of this quiz isn't directly about being right or wrong though - it's about how the results reflect what's not known on average, even when it arguably should be. And if that is telling of anything, it's that financial literacy has to be sought after, because it's not usually readily available to the masses. At Andson we aim to make this knowledge readily available for students and their families, because knowing how to handle your money is essential for every age and life situation. We teach these concepts through classroom worksheets, homework assignments, and take home reviews to explain to parents what is being taught and how they can assist in the learning process. Andson curriculum strives for not only a 3 out of 3 score on this quiz, but a more prepared generation of Southern Nevada.

Most Americans Fail This Simple 3-Question Financial Quiz. Can You Pass It?

When Taking on Fixed Expenses, Adult Guidance is Invaluable

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By Hannah Moore

Dealing with money responsibly is intimidating enough sometimes for adults, let alone the youth. That is why having support from a parent or mature individual is crucial to youngsters being thrust into the grown-up world of financial matters. By age 23, a colleague had built up great credit and a decent income. This lead her to believe she could purchase her first car without much help or guidance. Unfortunately that was not the case and she got hit with thousands of dollars of hidden fees. The message behind this personal anecdote is not a far cry from the lesson learned in columnist Ron Lieber's college bound days, although his story has a bit of a happier ending. His mother had taken him to a private meeting with a professional financial adviser to help figure out expenses and scholarships for school. He says if he hadn't been brought along by his mother to that meeting, his college debt would have been drastically higher and he wouldn't have the career that he does today. In a short summation: be a mentor if you're knowledgeable, and if you're not so knowledgeable or experienced, don't be afraid to ask for help! It could change your life. Andson is here to help. To read the article, click the following link:

Paying For College and Learning a Lesson for Life - New York Times

April's Tutor of the Month - Jessica Gentekos

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By Hannah Moore

Las Vegas native, Jessica Gentekos helps us greet April with her Tutor of the Month status, and has certainly been around the block when it comes to schools of Southern Nevada. She attended high school at Chaparral, her undergraduate at UNLV, and then taught at J. Marlan Walker Elementary before moving on to teaching second grade at Frias Elementary, where she still is today. When it comes to tutoring, helping students understand concepts they were taught at school, and witnessing the progress made really drives her. Her free time encompasses being a true Philadelphia Eagles fan and reading for pleasure. "It's kinda fun to do the impossible" is a great Walt Disney quote that lends itself to her life. Thanks Jessica, for aiding us in making things possible!