U.S. Bank grant, coaching help students achieve educational and financial goals  

May 09, 2023
Goals coach Dr. John Hirano speaking to a classroom full of students.
U.S. Bank goals coach Dr. John Hirano leads a session with students at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

The grant program aims to help students gain experience and learn new skills to overcome financial challenges 

University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) sophomore Micaah Douglas recently found out firsthand how a grant from the university’s Rebel Success Scholars program could help him manage his course work and other responsibilities.

The grant program helps students with tuition costs and, beyond that, also provides recipients with opportunities to gain critical skills and experience to help ensure their future success. Students who receive a grant take part in skills workshops and are matched with a U.S. Bank goals coach to help them succeed.

“The support I’ve received has been incredible,” said Douglas, who is studying psychology and neurobiology and plans to go into the medical field following graduation.

He said that, because he was struggling with his coursework and needed help, the grant couldn’t have come at a better time.

“It was a huge relief to know I wouldn’t have to drop any of my needed classes,” Douglas said.

“Students have a lot going on in their lives, and dealing with finances can be an added challenge,” said Jeffrey Orgera, associate vice provost for student success at UNLV. “Grant aid, coupled with skills workshops such as financial literacy, is one way we’re helping equip students to stay on their educational paths and achieve their goals.”

Quote from UNLV student

After attending financial workshops presented by the on-campus U.S. Bank branch, Douglas connected with U.S. Bank goals coach Dr. John Hirano.

“John helped me focus on setting goals for the things I want to achieve both personally and financially,” Douglas said. “It goes beyond the financial knowledge – he genuinely cares for me as a person and follows up to make sure I’m progressing.”

U.S. bank goals coaches provide free, personalized guidance to anyone – not just students – looking to explore what truly matters in life, financial or not. Individuals and small business owners in any location can set up a virtual session with a coach to identify goals and what it takes to reach them.

Hirano serves as a dedicated goals coach available on the UNLV campus. In addition to coaching students, he works closely with the campus bank branch to provide financial wellness and education, as well as working with university staff and faculty to provide guest-speaker lectures, facilitate classroom learning engagements and provide support for programs like the Rebels Scholars Success.

“We help students navigate some of their beginning ‘adulting’ decisions, such as establishing a budget, pursuing a passion and building credit,” Hirano said. “Providing students with financial literacy and coaching is important.”

Hirano offered tips for those who have thought about goal-setting and planning but don’t know where to start:

  • Just get started – take your big goals and break them down into smaller, more manageable goals. Often, starting with a goal that is easier to achieve will help to start building the momentum needed to reach the larger and more challenging aspect of the goal.
  • Reduce as much friction as possible. Make the behaviors and habits that you are developing as easy as possible to complete. For example, setting up automatic transfers into savings accounts makes it easier to put money away toward a savings goal.
  • Have an accountability partner that will help you to keep to your goal. Have someone you can be honest with. Check in with them regularly to make sure you’re staying on track and ask them to hold you accountable if you aren’t.

U.S. Bank has had a campus branch at UNLV for nearly a decade as part of the U.S. Bank Campus Banking program, which includes partnerships with over 40 colleges and universities and provides financial education, resources and banking services designed for students, faculty and alumni.

“Having access to the goals coaches and other financial resources at U.S. Bank is pretty amazing,” Douglas said. “The fact that I have a whole team to support me is not something I ever expected I would have in college, and it’s helping me take my next steps as a young adult.”

Visit to learn more about the U.S. Bank Goals Coaching program.

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