When Allysen Mattison was in high school, she wanted to be a Chief Financial Officer. Her mother was a stock broker and then business manager, and Allysen told us, “I felt very fortunate that my mother was such a strong role model for me. I want to provide that for other girls who may not have the same resources.”
Now the Director of Investment Risk at Income Research + Management—a Boston-based, privately owned, investment grade fixed income asset management firm—Allysen discovered Invest in Girls while volunteering for the CFA Boston Society Financial Literacy Initiative. After observing a workshop in one of IIG’s Boston-area classrooms, Allysen, alongside Annemarie Bortey, wanted to take IR+M’s involvement a step further. “Given the strong volunteering culture of my firm,” she said, “I thought that we could source enough volunteers from IR+M to provide a more cohesive experience for both the students and volunteers.” The result of her enthusiasm is a successful team-teaching initiative that piloted in the Fenway High School this spring. Every Monday for five weeks, a team from IR+M led instruction from IIG’s Becoming the CIO of Your Life investing module.
Teaching teenagers requires a special skill set. From Allysen’s perspective, “Teaching in an IIG classroom is more unstructured than the typical office meeting. You’re challenged to find ways to engage your audience while being extraordinarily flexible. It also challenges you to simplify your message and be succinct. It’s rewarding when the girls understand the concepts and are able to retain the key points from week to week.”
Perhaps without knowing it, the girls also offer their own educational experience to the volunteers. “In addition to helping me improve my presentation skills,” Allysen reflected, “the girls have taught me not to judge audience retention based on body language. At times, I am convinced that the students’ minds are elsewhere. I am continuously blown away by how much the students are actually learning. I have also learned about new phrases and products that I would have never heard about unless I was in a high school setting.”
Because of the success of IR+M efforts, IIG has begun training other teams of volunteer teachers from our partner companies in New England to teach during the next academic year. Women, men, and individuals with diverse backgrounds are invited to participate. “We need to more readily recognize the benefits of diversity in creating better outcomes, and encourage both genders to move beyond stereotypes and challenges when assembling the best – and most qualified – teams possible,” Allysen said.
Invest in Girls applauds Allysen, Annemarie, and the passionate team from IR+M who donated their time this year. “Nothing is as fulfilling as seeing the learning happening real-time and knowing you were part of helping that transformation,” Allysen reported at the end of the semester. We feel truly honored to have her support in transforming the lives of IIG’s girls. Thank you, Allysen, Annemaire, and IR+M!
If your company would like to get involved, we welcome you to reach out to one of our program directors through our online application.