Lorna Saboe-Wounded HeadLorna Saboe-Wounded Head works with consumers across South Dakota to help them increase their financial knowledge and implementation of financial behaviors to empower them to make financial decisions.

AFCPE: What led you to a career in personal finance? And what inspires you to continue doing this work today?

Lorna: My career started as a middle school Family and Consumer Sciences teacher. I always enjoyed teaching about budgeting, saving, and making financial decisions. When I worked on my Master’s degree, the concept of financial literacy was being discussed and researched. Personally, I was working on increasing my financial literacy to better manage my finances, so was drawn into the research and how it was being implemented. Money is a resource we all have to work with. How we manage that resource is impacted by so many different factors. I am inspired to continue conducting educational programs and financial counseling because I want to help consumers understand that they are in control of their finances. No matter what their educational level, family situation, income level , or experience is, they can become financially secure.

AFCPE: What does Native American Heritage Month mean to you?

Lorna: For me, this is a month to recognize the contributions Native Americans have made. There are 574 recognized tribes in the US. Each tribe is unique in their traditions and cultures. I don’t think the general population understands the significance of these contributions. 

AFCPE: The Native American community has faced a variety of challenges for hundreds of years. The effects of these challenges are still being felt today, especially when it comes to their financial well-being. What do you want financial professionals to know about working with the Native American community? How can they help raise awareness about important issues affecting this community?

Lorna: For hundreds of years, whites have tried to implement programs they think Native Americans need. The most important thing financial professionals can do is get to know the Native American group you want to work with. Find out from them what they need, and collaborate to implement the right program using the right approach. We all have a way of doing things, Natives are no exception. Historic trauma has affected how Natives view money and financial education. Unless we have had those same experiences, we won’t understand how to meet their needs. So, get to know your audience.

AFCPE: Are there any resources you want to share with professionals to assist them with working with the Native American Community?

Lorna: First Nations Development Institute – www.firstnations.org and the Oweesta Corporation – www.oweest.org  

AFCPE: Congratulations on receiving the 2021 Mary O’Neill Mini Grant from AFPCE for your upcoming project – “Breaking Out of Financial Aid Fog.” Tell us about this project.

Lorna: Breaking Out of Financial Aid Fog is a program for high school students to help them learn about financial aid. The program is modeled after an Escape Room activity with students working to complete activities to ‘break open’ a series of locked boxes. The activities will focus on costs of college, the difference between the sticker and net price of a college, types of financial aid, forms and criteria for selecting a college. Teachers, youth advisors and anyone who works with this age group will be trained to use the program. An outcome is for youth to increase their knowledge to be able to make decisions about financial college or post-secondary education in order to decrease the amount of money borrowed.

AFCPE: Are there any other projects or initiatives you are working on?

Lorna: Developing a Master Health Volunteer Money Mentor program.

Working with a multi-state team to understand how the pandemic has impacted people of color.

Facilitating Mental Health First Aid programs with adults and teens.

AFCPE: What is the best way to connect with you (social links, etc.)?

  • Email – lorna.woundedhead@sdstate.edu
  • Twitter and Instagram @SDSUExtFinance
  • Facebook – @thefinanciallyindependentlife (Lorna Saboe-Wounded Head)

Lorna Answers the Friday 5: 

  1. My Why: Is to work with individuals, families and communities to meet their needs to improve their well-being.
  2. My Favorite Quote: Be the change you want to see in the world. Gandhi
  3. My Hero: Anyone whose work focuses on empowering individuals to become their best selves.
  4. My Favorite Resource: podcasts – I listen to a variety of podcasts on finance, politics, history, and general entertainment daily.
  5. My Best Advice:
    • For someone starting the journey to financial well-being: Seek out knowledge for areas that you feel you need more information from reliable resources. Always remember that you make the decisions on how you will spend, save, or earn your money. Understand the consequences of those decisions and work with that information.  
    • For a new professional: No matter who your primary audience will be, focus on getting to know the needs of the audience. Don’t assume you know what they need. Talk to them to learn about their financial story so you can provide them with the tools they need.

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