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Meet Keli Calderon

Today we’d like to introduce you to Keli Calderon.

Keli, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
The Smart Money Academy originated with a desire to teach my own children how to manage their money and avoid the mistakes that my husband and I had made. Our financial missteps had lead to bankruptcy, missed opportunities and years of stress. We finally had to look in the mirror and decide to clean up our mess. We learned a lot in the process, changed our habits, and are now building wealth for our future.

My passion to teach kids about finances early is at the center of everything I do at The Smart Money Academy. I believe that if they manage their money well from the beginning, they can fully leverage their time and income to build incredible wealth and make a huge impact on the world.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
My biggest struggle was taking the leap from being a classroom teacher to an entrepreneur. I had very little experience and know-how in regards to running a business and all that it entails. I devoured every podcast, blog, and book I could to help me develop the right mindset and skillset to get me started. I am still learning and stretching my abilities every day, but I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. This is truly the perfect marriage of my passion for personal finance and my teaching skills.

Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
We teach personal finance for kids and teens 8-20. I am most proud of the fact that our students truly understand difficult financial concepts after taking our classes. As a classroom teacher, I specialized in teaching a foreign language. I can apply the same teaching methods for teaching finance vocabulary. This helps makes the material approachable and applicable to our students, even at a very young age.

I love helping parents to prepare their children for the future by giving them the knowledge, vocabulary, and mindset to succeed with money.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
My proudest moments are always when I hear back from happy parents. I love hearing stories about how their child’s behavior or mindset towards money has changed, I can see how hopeful they are about their child’s future now and the peace that it has given them. My biggest goal is to come alongside parents as they prepare their child to become a productive, successful adult.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Individual photo: Christie Pinto, North Texas Photo

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