10th Anniversary Dreams Campaign 10 Question Series - Betsy Kelder

One of the ways we are celebrating our 10th Anniversary Dreams Campaign is through a 10 Question Series. The Dreams Campaign was created on the belief that girls who dream, become women with vision and through this campaign we hope to connect the SEGA girls with people and organizations around the world through their shared dreams. Our goal is to show each girl at SEGA the endless possibilities that come from investing in girls' education.

We are excited for you to read our 10 Question Series with Betsy Kelder, the Executive Director of Invest in Girls, an organization that strives to provide high school girls with an adequate financial education to bring in the first generation of financially literate girls.


What did you aspire for at an early age?

I aspired to do something that had meaning, and that made a difference in the lives of the people around me.

What inspired those dreams?

Going to overnight camp. You’re in an environment of people who really care about you.  Everyone takes care of each other, and everyone wants to do right by the people around them. I found that a really nice place to be, surrounded by those who cared, and who were invested in the people that they were with.

What is the most difficult decision you’ve had to make to pursue your dream?

I moved across the country after college, for a job, which was definitely a big step, but I also think that whenever you leave one job to take another job, it’s a difficult decision, because it’s something that you know, that’s comfortable, that is with people you are used to. When you go into something that is totally different, you really don’t know what’s going to happen. I grew up in Boston, and I moved to Seattle, and that was a big change.

What’s one thing you would tell your younger self?

To enjoy myself. To learn as much as I could, to appreciate and enjoy the time where there was less going on and less riding on each decision that I made. I think we get really caught up in thinking that the decisions that we make when we are young define the whole trajectory of our lives, and I think what you learn when you get older is that at any point in time you can change your path.

Who is someone you look up to / admire?

My mom. First of all, I think she’s brilliant. She’s also done a lot of interesting things in her life, and she’s a prime example of that change in course, as she was a psychologist when I was a kid, and then when I was in high school, she became a lawyer. I think it’s really neat that at that age, she decided that she wanted to do something different, and made it happen.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received?

You can only do the things you choose to do. If you make the choice to do something, then you’ll be able to do it. But if you don’t commit to it, if you don’t make that choice and say “This is something that I want,” then you’ll never know. .

Who was your best teacher/helper on your journey?

I’ve had a couple of good bosses, but when I worked at Microsoft for a while, I had a really great boss. She was always positive, really smart, and managed people well. She gave you challenging work but trusted you to do it, and gave you good, real feedback, to help you learn and do it better.

How did your environment/friends shape/support your dreams?

I have always tried to surround myself with people who are positive, and who want to make a difference in the lives of the people around them, and that doesn’t have to be like boiling the ocean (that’s become one of my favorite sayings, not to boil the ocean), it can just be making the lives of the people who are important to them better. That’s important to me, and has inspired me a lot – that people care about who they are with and the environment that they are in, and not just waiting and expecting change to come.

Was there ever a time you felt uncertain about your dream?

I don’t think I’ve reached my dream yet. I think that yes, there are always times when you have doubt, when you hit hiccups, when you struggle and wonder whether you are going to really be able to accomplish what you want. I think that’s natural. I think my dream is really to be part of something that has some impact on the people that it touches, and to raise happy, healthy, resilient kids who want to be a part of their community, and who want to be a positive force in their community. I have two little girls. Our mission at Invest in Girls is to usher in the first generation of financially literate girls, and additionally to work to increase the pipeline of women in finance and financial services as careers. So, we work with high school girls doing financial literacy workshops, we introduce them to women role models, and we bring them to financial services and finance departments of companies to see and understand the importance that finance has in everything we do in daily life. Then, we bring them into this ecosystem that we have created of women who work in finance and financial services to help grow

What is a piece of advice you have for the SEGA girls?

I would give them the advice that I was given, that you can only get done the things you choose to do. So, make a commitment, decide the things that are important, and strive to do those, but you don’t have to strive to boil the ocean.

Betsy Kelder is the Executive Director of Invest in Girls, an organization that strives to provide high school girls with an adequate financial education to bring in the first generation of financially literate girls. To learn more visit: www.investgirls.org.

Matthew Plourde