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1:1 Fund Donor in Indiana Shares Motivation to Provide 'Hope to a Generation'

Since its inception, 1,875 donors have powered 1:1 Fund partners' ability to achieve their mission and expand economic opportunity. To better understand why 1:1 Fund donors give, CFED's Diego Quezada interviewed Sarah Lochner, a valued supporter of Wabash County Promise, the 1:1 Fund's newest partner. The interview excerpt below has been edited for length and clarity.

DQ: Why do you think it is important to give to Children's Savings Account programs?

SL: I was very fortunate. I was able to use my ability on the volleyball court to help fund my education, but I know that not everyone has that same opportunity. I am aware what fellow students went through to buy books, pay tuition, and live. … I can’t even imagine if my bill had included tuition and books. I would have to had given up my volleyball dreams, the pursuit of which have enriched my life and young adult experience in ways I can’t even explain. … I am so thankful I didn’t have to do that, or graduate with a mountain of debt … and I know in my heart that without volleyball, my life, financially, would be very different than it is today.

When my husband opened a 529 account for our daughters ... I thought he was crazy. But now ... with nearly $40,000 set aside for their education, I am hopeful that they won’t ever have to make a choice between something they love [and their college education] or rely on that thing that they love to fund their education. They can pursue their dreams with confidence knowing that if they are responsible and manage their money well, they will be able to graduate and begin their life with little to no debt with a world of opportunity before them.

DQ: How have you seen the money you have given to Wabash County Promise via the 1:1 Fund buttress their efforts?

SL: As a board member I am fortunate to know the intentions of that money and to work with individuals who are looking for ways to make the Promise work for all students. Whether it was the work we are doing with Duke University [Wabash County Promise is partnering with the Center for Advanced Hindsight at Duke to explore strategies to increase savings engagement for families] or community outreach, or our efforts to reach youth involved in the criminal justice system, I see this money working for Wabash County kids.

DQ: What would you want other potential donors to know about Wabash County Promise or supporting CSA efforts?

SL: If someone told you that your money could help shape the future of a generation, wouldn’t you want to contribute to that? What if every kid from a Wabash County school thought, "When I go to college or trade school I am going to work to be…" instead of, "Maybe or if I go to college or trade school I can try and be…" I just think the Promise provides hope to a generation. I had no college savings, but I knew I was going to college from a young age. There was no question in my mind. I don’t know how I arrived at that in my mind. Neither of my parents are college-educated, but I was going. I think my life would have turned out quite a bit differently if I wasn’t able to play volleyball or if I found out too little too late at 18 that I wanted to go to college but couldn’t pay for it. I hope every kid grows up dreaming of what they can do to make the world a better place someday, and with the financial confidence the Promise can provide, that they know they can make it happen. It gives the freedom to dream a little bigger and aim a little higher.