Presley Batchelor joined the Kelley Institute for Social Impact as a freshman at IU Bloomington, hoping to gain financial literacy skills that she could use to help people in communities around the world.
Now a sophomore at the Kelley School of Business majoring in operations management and sustainable business, Batchelor is president of Trockman Microfinance Initiative, a Kelley-based student organization that provides microloans to people who do not normally qualify for loans because of a lack of credit or capital. A microloan is a small loan provided to individuals who often don’t have access to banking services, frequently to start or expand a small business. Those who qualify for this type of loan must demonstrate how the loan will help enhance their existing assets and complete financial literacy training programs.
Over the past year, members of the Kelley Trockman Microfinance Initiative have traveled as far as Cusco, Peru, and within the U.S. to Nashville, Tenn., St. Louis, Chicago, Indianapolis, and Cincinnati to help individuals create empowering, forward-looking plans for their businesses and their lives.
In October of 2017, the group was asked to create a microlending program for Monroe County United Ministries, a Bloomington non-profit designed to create lasting solutions to economic, educational, and social injustice issues. The students worked throughout the year to design a program that was approved by the MCUM board and allocated $6000. The Kelley students continued working with MCUM in the 2018-19 academic year to develop a series of educational videos and activities that help loan recipients determine strategies to manage their money and expenditures.
“I would love to see Trockman Microfinance Initiative continue to consult with Monroe County United Ministries and create meaningful relationships with the people of Monroe County,” Batchelor said, adding that she hopes the effort will have a ripple effect on financial sustainability throughout the community. “Monroe County has given us so much, so we will continue to strive to give back."
The Trockman Microfinance Initiative is an example of an IU Corps experience. IU Corps is IU Bloomington’s umbrella connecting students with meaningful service experiences locally, nationally, and globally.