Change Maker – Entrepreneur – Educator
When Marcy Reyes inquired about money as a young child, she was told it was none of her business. In the Latino culture, the adults handled the money. The children kept quiet.
The silence led Reyes to many financial mistakes, including overspending, a disregard for savings and credit card debt. It also led her to a career in finance and a mission to educate youth in BIPOC communities about the importance of fiscal responsibility.
Understanding the challenges youth in the BIPOC communities face, Reyes founded The Financial Literacy Youth (FLY) Initiative, a non-profit organization that provides culturally responsive financial literacy programming to underserved and underrepresented students. The overall mission is to empower youth with knowledge, skills and experiences to end generational poverty.
She created FLY because it touches home.
With little resources and not an ounce of financial education, Reyes put herself through college, developing a passion for finance while studying at Rhode Island College. She later attended Northeastern University, where she earned a master’s degree in finance.
Reyes’ goal is to implement FLY in every high school in Rhode Island.
In addition to serving as the chief executive officer of The FLY Initiative, Reyes is the director of the Individual Segment at Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) and is an adjunct faculty member at Rhode Island College.
A changemaker, educator and internationally recognized businesswoman with more than 20 years of experience in education, finance and healthcare, Reyes is the “speaking proof” of what financial education can do. She is passionate and determined to further diversity as well as educate and provide equal opportunities for underserved and underrepresented youth.
She is also active in the community. Reyes was recently appointed to serve as the co-chair of the 2021 Leadership Rhode Island Core Program. She is also a member of the board of the BCBSRI Diversity and Inclusion Council, chairs BCBSRI’s Latin@Link and was recently named to the Rhode Island College’s Alumni Association Board of Directors. In addition, she volunteers as a Year Up youth mentor.
A single mom, her daughter attends Clemson University.
Why is Papitto Opportunity Connection and its mission of bettering the BIPOC communities so important to you?
“POC is making dreams come true for the organizations that have fought long and strenuous circumstances to make opportunity available to the BIPOC community. And for recipients of those resources, we are shifting paradigms. The idea that we are changing the future reality for so many is extremely meaningful and important.”