Not all heroes wear capes, but some of them do don costumes and put on live musical performances to teach school children about saving and spending money. At least, Blue Hills Bank’s Julie Beckham does.
Beckham never thought that her theatre background would lead her into a career in banking, but in 2011, Blue Hills Bank decided it wanted to launch a financial literacy program and that’s when they knocked on Beckham’s door.
That was only the first time that Beckham went above and beyond the call of duty, said Karen Marryat, Blue Hills Bank’s chief marketing officer.
“We were kind of throwing around the idea of, wouldn’t it be great if you could create a character to talk to kids about financial literacy,” Marryat said. “And she came back with a musical.”
Now, five years later, Beckham has reached more than 40,000 area school children with her musical “Ms. Money and the Coins,” and she’s broadened the bank’s financial literacy program to include other important aspects of financial literacy, including consumer protection for senior citizens.
“Taking something we all talk about and delivering it in a totally unique way and in a way that resonates with so many area students makes her a hero in my eyes,” Marryat said. “I can’t tell you how impressed I am every single day with how she does her work and what she brings in terms of creativity to the financial literacy world.”
In her role at Blue Hills Bank, Beckham also acts as the point person for nonprofits applying for grant money – and she said that’s an aspect of her job that she truly loves.
“I’ve been on the other end of the line, saying ‘pick me, pick me.’ I know what it takes to ask for something and to want something,” she said. “So when I receive sponsorship applications and grant applications, I feel a real desire to give these organizations their fair shot. We try to reach as many organizations as we can – and that’s the truth. When people call or submit something to the bank, they feel like they’ve been heard, so it makes me feel like I’m helping them feel valued.”
But Beckham certainly wasn’t expecting to be named a hero for her work.
“I was very surprised,” she said of that first phone call from Banker & Tradesman. And in the true community bank spirit, she was more than happy to share the credit with her team.
“I feel honored to be a part of this group of people,” she said. “It’s not a clear path that I set out to take and it’s amazing where you land in life, but I just am very grateful for having been given the opportunity to work for a bank that has given me this opportunity and let me run with it. It’s been a great run.”