Patricia is the Chief Operating Officer at Gift of College, Inc., where innovations are created to engage friends, family, and employers to help individuals save for college and pay down student loan debt — and through its Gift of Independence platform, save for disability-related expenses as well with 529A (ABLE) plans. She is on a mission to bring awareness of 529 college savings plans and 529A (ABLE) plans to the workplace as a financial wellness benefit and to help educate employers about tax-free ways to help employees pay down student loan debt.
A life-long learner with a deep appreciation for the many doors higher education can open, she has helped tens of thousands of families prepare for the cost of higher learning through her leadership in nearly every aspect of the 529 college savings arena. To reach even more families, she wrote Route 529: A Parent’s Guide to Saving for College and Career Training with 529 Plans which quickly became a top new release in Fall 2020.
Prior to her current role, she held key legal, product and program management roles at major financial services firms where she managed significant private-public sector partnerships, and designed and launched several first-of-their-kind philanthropic programs, such as the NYC Kids RISE program, through which families receive seed money for college savings accounts along with valuable financial education and incentives to help them save on their own.
As a motivational speaker and author, she is interested in empowering all families to have better outcomes by planning ahead for financial goals and she has a particular interest in those who may have a more challenging time getting and staying on track. Since the more recent creation of 529 ABLE plans, she has worked with the disability community to raise awareness of the existence and usefulness of these plans.
Having financed her own undergraduate and law degrees while working multiple jobs and having repaid sizable student loans as a first-generation college goer, she knows first-hand the difference that even a small amount of advanced planning can make in paying for higher education. In her favorite role of all, Patricia made it a priority to save a little at a time for her son’s higher education expenses by directing contributions from her paycheck into 529 college savings accounts. After 18 years of saving, she was extremely proud to see him graduate debt-free from college in 2021.
Recent Media Placements include:
So Money Podcast with Farnoosh Torabi:
Kron4 News Interview:
ScholarShare529 Interview with Eric Bennett:
CUP Fellow Spotlight Interview: