Our Story

NFS was founded by Uros Ceglaj & Stephen Pennington as a response to the lack of financial literacy and poverty they encountered in San Antonio. Their solution – financial education. They proposed that if people had more information, then they would be able to make better financial decisions. After conducting several interviews they discovered overwhelmingly that many people had no basis for personal financial management and in many cases grew up in households where living paycheck to paycheck was the norm. Understanding that someone's financial well-being is just as much about discipline as it is know-how, was the premise on which they started the Community Workshop program. These workshops covered topics in personal finance including, Budgeting, Managing Your Account, and Business Essentials, to name a few.

To address the issue of systemic poverty, Stephen & Uros sought to also use community workshops as a way to teach people how to build wealth. This meant not only helping people start their own businesses, but also introducing them to valuable resources available for greater job opportunity and connecting them with community leaders and university professors for professional development they might not receive in their current occupation. This included hands-on training for resume writing and interview preparation.

Initially, we found it difficult for people to open up about their financial situation, and we didn’t just want to just explain personal finance in the abstract but give practical, actionable, insight on how to manage their money. Uros had some prior experience preparing taxes and we figured a tax return was probably the best snapshot of someone’s financial profile.
— Stephen Pennington, Executive Director

What started as community workshops to teach people on topics in personal finance grew into a full service nonprofit tax preparation program, designed to be used as a platform to practically educate people about their money. By asking simple questions during a tax filing appointment, people began to open up about their financial situation and their money goals.

Today, NFS operates several programs, all designed to help strengthen local business, empower families, and educate the next generation.