Magic Diversity Game Changer: Lashea Reaves

Name: Lashea Reaves

Game Honored: Orlando Magic vs. Utah Jazz (11/7/21)

Lashea Reaves created 8 Cents in a Jar to ensure future generations have the opportunity to become financially fit regardless of their economic condition. She created this organization because of the financial lessons she learned, which helped save her life.

Reaves' financial struggle began when she was 14 years old and received news that would change her life forever. Six days before Christmas, her mother died due to hospital negligence, leaving her father a single parent of four daughters. After a malpractice lawsuit, they won an enormous settlement, but it was all gone in less than 24 months. They were back to square one and living below poverty and on public assistance.

In the fall of 2002, she wanted a fresh start and enrolled at Florida A&M University. At the end of her freshman year, she became a single mother and eventually homeless, sleeping on couches of her collegiate friends. While struggling to raise her daughter, she adopted her younger sister, due to her father’s admittance into hospice.  She took out student loans for funeral expenses just in case he passed away.  He died the next year.

She was a college student deep in sorrow and a domestic violence survivor struggling to provide a decent life for her young family. In May 2005, she got a third job with Hancock Bank as a Teller. It was at that moment that she started to pick up on personal finance and had a groundbreaking conversation with her then boss, Joel. She told him about her desire to buy a house, and he was like, “Well, what’s stopping you?” 

She then realized that the only limitations in life are the ones we place on ourselves. She decided to stop limiting herself to debt and an impoverished mindset and to open up to learning how to manage her personal finances and create a life that she wanted to live.

She graduated cum laude in the Spring of 2007 with a Bachelor’s in Business Management and a minor in Economics.  After working three jobs in college and becoming a financial junkie, she purchased her first home as a graduation gift. For the first time in her life, she was no longer a recipient of public assistance. She advanced her career in financial services as an Assistant Vice President and later managed relationships with Investment Advisors toppling assets of more than THREE BILLION dollars while working at Charles Schwab - all because she created a financial plan as a teenager. 

8 CENTS IN A JAR | MISSION & VISION

Founded in 2016, 8 Cents in a Jar, Inc. is an award-winning 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization serving the Central Florida community to create opportunities for students in marginalized communities to achieve intergenerational mobility through financial education. 8 Cents in a Jar represents a new beginning for students to save money and eradicate the cycle of generational poverty. Our objective is to equip the greatest possible number of students to transition as a role model for fiscal responsibility, measured in economic and demographic improvement behaviors consistent with those in a financially sound community.

To increase economic mobility, our mission is to provide students in marginalized communities of color with engaging resources and capital to become financially capable. Each day we accomplish our mission, we move forward achieving our vision of diminishing generational poverty using economic education and financial capability measures as a catalyst to increase upward mobility.

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