As a MoneySmarts peer mentor, Dottie Vollmer meets regularly with Indiana University students one-on-one and in group appointments to give personalized information, resources and tools to make it easier for them to maintain their finances now and in the future.
Dottie Vollmer, MoneySmarts peer mentor
Vollmer, a senior youth development major in the School of Public Health at IU Bloomington, first became interested in financial well-being while working in the IU Office of the Bursar's Collections Department. “My job was simply to take the students’ money and clear their accounts,” Vollmer said. “I had limited options to help them, besides explaining the payment types we accepted. I wanted to be able to do more.”
As fate would have it, Vollmer was in a class with Deb Getz, Clinical Assistant Professor in the School of Public Health and Director of Peer Financial Education at IU, who had the perfect opportunity for her: the MoneySmarts peer mentoring program.
Peer-to-peer mentoring is a cornerstone of the MoneySmarts program, which was established at IU in 2012 to assist students in making informed financial management decisions and decrease overall student debt.
“We want to equip students with the tools it takes to understand how to budget, save and plan for the future,” Vollmer said. “I like to tell students that I’ve been in their position, I’m a student as well, and I'm going through the same struggles they are. It really helps them open up.”