Portland, Oregon, 29 September 2016 | 03:00 PM America/Chicago Financial Education Helping Dreams Come True Portland’s Melody Bell is a Dream Achiever Americans struggling to get out of suffocating debt. That’s what Melody Bell saw every day in her financial career working collections at a department store. In her next career role she helped people who had fallen behind on their financial obligations and save for retirement. But deep down, she felt she could do more. She wanted to help people before they fell into economic hardship. Melody realized sound financial decisions are a result of early education. Unfortunately, the majority of the people she encountered did not have that education and were not equipped to make those important decisions. They not only struggled to make ends meet, but often were forced to put dreams and life goals on hold. In 2005 Melody took a leap of faith. She left her secure job to start Financial Beginnings (FB).The non-profit provides unbiased, personal financial education to young people. In 2015, the organization reached more than 34,000 youth and adults in Oregon and Washington. FB shares its financial literacy curriculum with 151 schools and 56 community organizations across both states. A Strong Partnership Melody didn’t stop there. She revived the Oregon Jump$tart Coalition and took part in creating statewide financial education standards. Today, financial literacy is a Social Science Core Standard in Oregon.Melody took a chance, rejected the status quo and followed her heart. Now her life reflects her passion for helping and empowering others. She is a Dream Achiever.