When Dr. Patricia Ramsey sat down with JP Morgan Chase’s Monica Nation in EOJ Auditorium for a March 27 fireside chat, the conversation went beyond highlighting Nation’s journey to becoming the managing director/regional director within Community & Consumer Banking (CCB) for the Northeast Division. A major linchpin of the conversation was the announcement of the financial literacy partnership between MEC and JP Morgan Chase, which will help improve the financial health of the College’s students.
With a healthy mix of students, faculty, and staff in attendance, Nation shared with Ramsey how she and her family moved to Brownsville, Brooklyn, from Panama and how her entryway into finance was as a bank teller. Nation proudly traced her work ethic to the inspiration she drew from her grandmother, who worked in the kitchen at St. Vincent’s Hospital, and her mother, a live-in maid out on Long Island. The New Jersey resident admitted that getting in earlier and leaving later than everyone is baked into her success and having to be better than everyone else.
“My journey has very much been one about being the first in everything that I’ve done,” Nation pointed out. “Whether we’re talking about me being the first one in my family to go to college or talking about the positions I’ve had at JP Morgan Chase.”
Nation also stressed the importance of finding a mentor/sponsor, embracing the idea of making lateral moves while learning different skill sets from every career stop you make, bringing your truest self to work, and being receptive to feedback, whether it’s solicited or not. As someone responsible for overseeing 180 branches throughout Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, and The Bronx, an eagerness to spread financial literacy throughout the communities she and her 2,000 employee-strong staff serve is not only a cornerstone to Nation’s success, but a strategy she wants to partner up and share with the MEC community via a series of upcoming programs.
The financial literacy partnership kicks off in June with workshops for young people participating the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYED) at Medgar Evers College followed by workshops to enrolled Medgar Evers College students in September. The idea is to empower MEC students as well as youth connected to Medgar Evers College through their 20-plus Beacon programs situated throughout the Central Brooklyn community to achieve financial stability and meet their long-term financial goals, a key driver of closing the racial wealth gap. Topics range from money management skills and credit building to homebuying and fraud/scam prevention. The financial health workshops will be taught by JPMorgan Chase’s five Brooklyn-based community managers, who work across the borough with a particular focus on Crown Heights, Kings Highway, Williamsburg, Borough Park, and Flatbush. The team is part of the firm’s $30 billion Racial Equity Commitment to drive inclusive economic growth for communities of color in Brooklyn and nationwide.