Summer Internship

Lopez Pantoja learns, educates during internship with TS Institute.

Ricardo Lopez Pantoja joined TS Institute as an intern in the summer of 2019 and got to work right away.

The graduate from Abraham Lincoln High School in Council Bluffs helped teach financial literacy classes to a variety of groups, facilitated teacher trainings at conferences and created content, among many duties.

Ricardo was tasked with engaging TS Institute’s partner organizations through programs for nonprofits, schools and government entities, while also working with Centro Latino of Council Bluffs on new content to help Tyson Foods employees financial literacy.

Ricardo taught financial literacy classes at the Southwest Iowa Juvenile Detention Center and MICAH House homeless shelter, both in Council Bluffs. Working with the TS Institute team Ricardo also helped facilitate teacher trainings at the Jump$tart conference in Des Moines and the 2019 Best Practices Social Studies conference for elementary and middle school teachers in CITY.

“This summer I have learned how hard cooperation between two groups can be to accomplish a common goal,” Ricardo said. “But it can be achieved.”

Lastly, he worked as the institute facilitated three bank site visits for Council Bluffs incoming freshmen students, with the youngsters learning about career pathways in human resources, information technology, data science and banking.

“Ricardo was a perfect fit for our team and came ready each day to give his best to the teachers, students and non-profits we serve. He learned a lot and helped us further our mission to reach more people with the important content and life skills around personal finance,” said TS Institute Director Kyle Osborne. “Ricardo gave us valuable insight into reaching different people groups in the Council Bluffs area with financial education and we are grateful for his passion and investment.”

Ricardo said he also learned how to make presentations fun and entertaining, while he also learned a good amount about finances.

“This internship with TSI changed the way I look at personal finances and because of this I will begin investing ASAP,” Ricardo said. “I have learned way more than I thought I would and have come to love teaching people about banking and finance. I have even been talking with my family and neighbors about the things I have been learning.”

Ricardo said he’s happy for the opportunity to work with TS Institute through the Campus Compact program and Tyson Foods.

Traci Dresher Joins TS Institute as a Programs Coordinator

The TS Institute is excited to announce the newest member of the team, Traci Dresher. Dresher is a Programs Coordinator and will office in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

Dresher comes to the organization with many years of experience in and around local school districts. She attended K-12 in the Council Bluffs School District, then later attend Truman State University achieving a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Communications.

In 2005, she accepted a position in the Council Bluffs Community School District as a librarian at two elementary schools. During her time with CBCSD, she held several positions including Program Coordinator for the TeamMates Mentoring Program, serving more than 15 schools in the district. Throughout this past year, Dresher has also served as the CBCSD representative for the Council Bluffs Chamber of Commerce. CB Ambassadors are dedicated chamber members who are strong advocates for business growth in the community.

During her four years as the Program Coordinator for TeamMates, Dresher said she was introduced to TS Bank in two ways, which ultimately lead her to apply for her current role with TS Institute.

“I first discovered TS Banking Group through many amazing TS Bank employees who mentored at all grades levels in the program and secondly through TS Bank’s financial support of our non-profit,” said Dresher. “I came to admire TS Bank as a leader in the community and a supporter of student growth and prosperity. With these things in mind, it was a natural choice to explore the new position I now hold with TS Institute as Programs Coordinator of the Iowa Council on Economic Education.”

“Traci is one of those people who does what she loves and loves what she does. It has been a privilege to work with Traci in the community and to see how her hard work and collaboration has brought health to the schools of Council Bluffs,” said Kyle Osborne, Director of Financial Literacy for TS Institute. “I am excited to see how Traci takes her passion for collaboration and students and see how that changes students, families and generations to come as she helps us take TS Institute to the next level in reaching K-12 schools and their families.”

Dresher’s husband is the Agency Director at Hall Insurance in Neola, Iowa, and the acting President of the Southwest Iowa Association of Realtors. Their son Nolan is pursuing his Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering at Kansas State University. In her free time, sporting events are a staple – especially baseball. Her family has traveled from Coors Field in Denver, to old Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, with stops at twelve other Major League Baseball stadiums in between. She also enjoys reading, especially historical fiction surrounding World War II, and loves to attend concerts of many genres.

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