Litzy Lerma came into the Earn to Learn FL program in 2019, unsure of how she would attend college and earn a postsecondary degree without falling into major debt by taking out education loans. With guidance from Earn to Learn FL peer coaches, she received personal finance training learning about various topics related to her long-term financial well-being, like how to budget, among many other topics.
At Earn to Learn FL, students become investors in their own educational goals taking what they learn in personal finance training and applying it to their everyday life. Litzy set and achieved a goal to save $500 toward her education. In turn, Earn to Learn FL matched her savings goal with a $4,000 contribution toward her postsecondary education. This match was renewed every year until Litzy graduated.
Today, Litzy is slated to graduate from Florida Gulf Coast University in December 2022, completely debt free. She will earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Entrepreneurship. Her career goal is to be a restauranteur. She currently has a job lined up with a start-up, and she will continue to learn about the restaurant industry after graduation. Litzy says, “I don’t think I could have done amazing things without the help I received. School would have been completely different, and I would have taken a different path. I am a million times thankful every day, and I know my parents are grateful that I received this [opportunity] as well.”
Program Enter Date: 2019
College or university attended: Florida Gulf Coast University
Postsecondary Graduation date: December 2022
Debt status: Debt-free