Mater Dei Prep Receives a $10,000 Grant for a Truly Authentic Learning Experience!


Last week Mater Dei Prep Principal, Mrs. Debra Serafin learned that hard work and perseverance truly pays off when she received some exciting news; Mater Dei Prep is being awarded a $10,000 Grant to support the school’s Personal Finance Program! The grant comes from the prestigious organization, Next Gen Personal Finance, that has a mission of becoming “-the ‘one-stop shop’ for more than 44,000 educators looking for high-quality, engaging personal finance curriculum to equip students with the skills to thrive in the future” (Sherill). 

Beginning September 2021, MDP is fortunate to have Financial Literacy taught by Mr. Brian Laux, an expert in the field of Finance. Having been in the Financial Services field since 1985, Brian started as a trainee at Merrill Lynch and, for the past 35 years, worked with some of the finest organizations and most prominent people in the business. He has held roles in sales, marketing, sales training, product development and management. Brian recollected, “The greatest joy and satisfaction I have experienced in my career is in working directly with financial advisors and their clients. It allows me to combine my passion for coaching with my knowledge and expertise in finance.”

In addition to his professional licenses, Mr. Laux completed a rigorous 50-hour certification process that included 10 examinations, which had to be completed in order to teach the curriculum provided by Next Gen Personal Finance. “The course is designed to prepare students for essential life skills such as managing credit, buying a car, paying for college, buying a house and budgeting. In addition, we will focus on investing in the stock market, understanding taxes and financial planning.”

The course focuses on authentic learning experiences and is practical in its execution. It has terrific content on how to invest, manage credit cards and pay bills, and even plan for college “…but my favorite topics are: ‘How to shop for a car’, and ‘behavioral finance’. I believe that our students will really enjoy these two!” remarks Mr. Laux. “I find that while some people love personal finance – most folks try to avoid it altogether. I am hopeful that I will be able to make this critical life-skill more enjoyable for the students I work with…by providing them with hands-on experiences, informal conversations and meaningful topics that will be part of their lives going forward. In addition to my own set of experiences, I have also lined up some guest speakers and contributors that should enrich the course for our students.”

As a former Mater Dei parent, Mr. Laux is excited to become a valuable part of the school that set his children up for success. He and his wife Dorothea continue to be active participants in various, essential roles to advance the school. Dedicated committee member, coach, teacher, and now Financial Literacy Educator, Mr. Laux can now create the same feeling and connection that he had felt when he first joined the Mater Dei Community. “It just felt like ‘home’. As parents, we were drawn to the size of the school, the feeling of community, the encouragement of students to try different things and embrace new experiences. By the time my daughter was making the decision two years later, we were already all in!” 

“I am most excited about the opportunity to work with the students at Mater Dei Prep. This community is special, and to be able to share my experiences and the incredibly rich content that NGPF provides is a blessing for me.” Mr. Laux, the MDP Family welcomes you in your new role in our community as our Financial Literacy educator, and we are grateful to you for bringing these valuable skills to our students! Also, a special thank you to Mrs. Serafin for her dedicated work to bringing new and innovative programming to the future of MDP and congratulations on achieving the $10,000 grant in support of this extraordinary program!



Sherill, C. “135 U.S. High Schools Receive NGPF Gold Standard Challenge Grants for Ensuring All Students Receive A Personal Finance Course”. NGPF Blog. Jan. 2020.