Supporter Spotlight Rita Joyce
Rita Joyce, our Supporter Spotlight this month, knows TAP better than most.
As a community mortgage specialist with Truist, she has assisted with our Housing Counseling classes for several years and has recommended first-time homebuyers to our down payment assistance program. More recently, Rita has become involved in our SwiftStart program, teaching financial education classes to participants. In addition to her direct work with TAP programs, she serves on our board.
A Heart for Service
Rita’s ethic of service drives her. “If my day can improve the life of someone else I’m all in. I’m grateful for the knowledge I’ve gained being in the banking industry thirty-plus years, and I believe sharing your knowledge is important. ‘Reach one, teach one’ is how I describe it.”
With the SwiftStart program, which assists participants with the job training and childcare needed to enter living-wage jobs, Rita introduced a family budgeting piece. It’s a module out of Truist’s four-part Bank on Your Success program. As Rita points out, most SwiftStart participants are planning on increasing their income as a result of the program, and they need financial education in order to best use that new income.
Rita focuses on budgeting because she’s seen that when someone comes into wealth, they’ll often mismanage and lose it if they’ve never been taught how to budget. “The budgeting piece is such an integral part of your financial success,” she explains. “You have to see it visually. If you don’t have a budget, you tend to overspend and waste.”
“We’re on a mission!”
But Rita’s class isn’t all about budgeting. She encourages her students, “What are we on today? We’re on a mission!” Rita knows that many participants have trouble believing in themselves. She shares her personal testimony of struggles she faced earlier in her life, and tries to instill in participants the understanding that with perseverance and motivation all things are possible. “I give them my struggles but also my successes,” says Rita. “It’s a challenge to go out and start something new. If they can push themselves through it, success is what they’ll see.”