Helping ninth-graders think about what’s next after high school isn’t easy. But that’s exactly what Casey Meyer likes most about volunteering with Minnesota-based nonprofit, BestPrep.
Next month marks Casey’s fifth anniversary with Securian Financial, where he’s a Channel Marketing senior analyst. It’s also the fifth year he has been involved with BestPrep, which provides educational programs to students in grades 4-12. BestPrep’s mission is to prepare students with business, career and financial literacy skills through inspiring hands-on experiences. These days, Casey is a leader for BestPrep’s online mentoring program, called Cloud Coach.
What led you to get involved with BestPrep and the Cloud Coach program?
My first Securian Financial volunteer opportunity five years ago was with BestPrep’s eMentors program. After a couple of years of volunteering in the eMentors program, I helped launch their newest program, Cloud Coach — and I was instantly hooked! The coolest thing about the Cloud Coach program is helping students think beyond school and motivating them to dream big and help shape the next generation.
What do you find appealing about BestPrep’s programs?
I think the most appealing thing about BestPrep is how easy it is to volunteer in all the different programs they offer. Securian Financial supports many of their turnkey programs. BestPrep works with companies across Minnesota to bridge the gap between classroom learning and skills that are useful in the workplace. Since 1976, BestPrep has served more than 1.6 million students and teachers in Minnesota.1
Can you describe the Cloud Coach program? What do you talk to the students about?
Cloud Coach is an online mentoring program designed to motivate ninth-graders to start thinking about their futures and how actions they take now can help them achieve their goals. Over the course of eight weeks, we discuss hobbies and interests, future career options, goal-setting and personal branding through weekly online conversations. Halfway through those eight weeks, the students and Securian Financial mentors will meet in person at our offices for our Cloud Summit.
What do you think are important things for someone to keep in mind when getting involved with a mentorship program?
Being a good listener, open to new ideas and positive thinking are essential to success for any mentorship program in my opinion. You have to have fun, too! BestPrep has been great for this — over the past five years it has allowed me to build closer bonds with many of my colleagues. I’ve met so many great people through the program.
Aside from BestPrep, are there other organizations that you’re active with?
I volunteer with Special Olympics and take the Polar Plunge every year. This is a tradition my wife and I have been doing for four years. My wife dreads it every year but she’s always a good sport about it. I have been taking a dip into the icy Minnesota waters for over eight years and look to continue that tradition for many more.