DeAnna Edwards wants to help people. She wants to give back to the Gainesville community, which she was born and raised in. She’s able to do so through her financial advising work at Thrivent Financial and volunteering her time at Peaceful Paths.
Thrivent Financial is a not-for-profit, faith-based, membership organization that DeAnna describes as a company that wants to take care of the communities they serve.
At Thrivent, she helps people across all spectrums of finances, from paying for college to setting up retirement funds. At Peaceful Paths, she empowers women with knowledge about finance. Her lessons help survivors regain control and confidence about money after economic abuse.
DeAnna was drawn to working with Peaceful Paths because of past experiences in her life. Her past has helped her empathize with the women at Peaceful Paths who she is now helping on their journey back to financial empowerment.
“It really is important to let people know it’s not always physical abuse, a lot of it is emotional or economical,” she said. “There’s a lot of things that people don’t see. Just because everything looks great on the outside, doesn’t mean everything is good on the inside. So, we’re helping to empower those ladies to say it’s not OK to feel that way.”
She’s thankful for the support system of empowering women that she’s had in her life and wants to give back. Her extensive knowledge of finance gives her the opportunity to do just that.
DeAnna has been volunteering at Peaceful Paths for about three years. She assists with LIFE classes, LIFE stands for Live Independent Financially Empowered. It’s a series of classes, 10 sessions, on financial management.
“DeAnna is an expert in her field,” said Trish White, Economic Empowerment Program Coordinator and Financial Educator at Peaceful Paths. “I think having someone come, share information, teach skills and to be a resource and mentor is key to the success of the program and those individuals.”
DeAnna also works with graduates of the LIFE classes in monthly meetings focused on continuing the education and honing of the skills learned in the classes. Her contributions have helped numerous survivors over the last three years.