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.