Marinette, Menominee students save for their futures

Published: Jun. 28, 2022 at 11:44 AM EDT
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MARINETTE, Wis. (WLUC) - The first kindergarten class to be enrolled in Future Fund is now going into third grade.

“When the Community Foundation established the program and announced it three years ago, we were only the 66th program in the entire country,” said Paula Gruszynski, the executive director of the M & M Area Community Foundation.

Future Fund is a partnership between the M & M Area Community Foundation and local banks. When each child starts kindergarten, they’re automatically set up with a child savings account at a bank in their area.

M & M Area Community Foundation puts $50 in each account.

“Every single year the Community Foundation gives an incentive – a financial incentive. So when they were in first grade we gave them $5, when they were in second grade we gave them $5,” said Gruszynski.

Money from Future Fund has to be used towards post-secondary education. That can mean anything from one certification class to a degree that will take multiple years to complete.

“I coach everyone when they talk about it. Please don’t say, ‘Where are you going to school? Where are you going to college?’ That’s not what this question is about. It’s, ‘You’ve got to be a something, what are you going to be?’” Gruszynski said.

The Stephenson National Bank and Trust donated $20,000 to the Community Foundation to continue this program.

“One of the things we do on an annual basis is giving back to the community because the community supports us with all the things they do. We feel it’s the right thing to do,” said Dan Peterson, president and CEO of The Stephenson National Bank and Trust.

The Community Foundation even has options for children with disabilities who may not seek education after high school but need equipment for accessibility.

If you would like to donate to Future Fund, click here.

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