Odell Riley

Odell Riley

Age: 54
Hometown: Monroe, La.
Cause: Teaching personal finance to colleagues, congregants, and kids

One of six kids raised by a single father, Riley learned about finances working at a grocery store from age 13 to 24. Now a pastor—and an executive at the telecom firm CenturyLink—Riley teaches congregants and colleagues about money up to five hours a week. His Thursday night Bible study class branches out into topics such as insurance and investing. At work he prods new hires to open a 401(k). And in 2013 he helped start a program that places volunteers in elementary schools to read children books promoting financial literacy.

Says Riley:

I have couples do a budget before I marry them. If one’s a saver and one’s a spender, I show them that their differences are an asset.”

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