Making strides toward a secure financial future for all


At OneAmerica we’re dedicated to creating opportunities for financial wellness and security for everyone — but especially those in underserved communities. Our focus is to expand access to economic possibilities and provide meaningful financial literacy as part of our sustained strategy.

After spending just a few minutes with Kim Thomas, her passion for diversity, equity and inclusion shines through.


“I love it,” said Kim, chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer at OneAmerica. “I always try to contain my enthusiasm, but it’s at the core of who I am.”


True to our people-first approach, that passion arises from the possibilities Kim sees in DEI efforts launched by OneAmerica. She believes in creating access and opportunity for all — for the individual, the family and the community.


“We believe diversity, equity and inclusion involves everyone and want all of our associates to play a part and have a voice in our company’s efforts,” Kim said. “What’s innovative about our approach is that we’re trying new things. In fact, we’re encouraged to do that. It’s about moving past conversations and focusing on actions.”


For OneAmerica, 2022 was a landmark year with two clear highlights: the Pathways Program and our newly launched financial literacy efforts. Introduced in 2018, the multifaceted Pathways Program focuses on strengthening Indiana’s workforce through immersive workplace experiences for high school and college students and raising wages for OneAmerica associates.


At the high school level, students participate in the Junior Fellows program.


“Juniors and seniors come to OneAmerica for their summer breaks,” said De’Niece Harrison-Hudson, community affairs director of the Pathways Program. “It’s a five-week intensive program.”


The program also includes Pathways Scholars and the Modern Apprenticeship Program, which targets youth who might not otherwise have exposure to the career prospects offered by OneAmerica or other similar workplaces. Participants take part in a range of programs, including partnering with personal and professional mentors to help guide their progress.


During the past year, OneAmerica also invested heavily in financial literacy. Driven by concerns about Indiana’s substantial racial wealth gap, OneAmerica teamed up with The American College of Financial Services, Ivy Tech Community College and several other higher learning institutions to provide a financial wellness curriculum originally created for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). OneAmerica pledged $1 million to help activate the initiative.


“With this amazing collaboration between Ivy Tech, OneAmerica and The American College of Financial Services, the path to financial wellness is being widened to allow all communities to prosper,” said Dr. Sue Ellspermann, Ivy Tech president and OneAmerica board member. “We welcome the opportunity to offer this curriculum in our classrooms.”


Gigi Brown is grateful for the impact it’s already having on the under-resourced demographic of students enrolled. As director of IvyCARES (the program to which Sue refers), Gigi says students are gaining invaluable financial literacy skills that will serve them throughout their lives. But more immediately, it enables Ivy Tech to help retain students by tamping down roadblocks that could otherwise derail their education paths. For these individuals, the challenges extend far beyond classroom lessons.


“I assist students with a wide range of resources, services and programming events. Sometimes they come to us because they’re in need of emergency aid, transportation, daycare assistance, help with utility bills or resolving disconnect notices,” Gigi said. “They come to us because they’re in need of resources to sustain themselves while they’re in college.”


George Nichols III, president and CEO at The American College of Financial Services, said the new collaboration further expands the footprint of this groundbreaking curriculum.


“These learning modules meet people wherever they are in their financial literacy journey,” George said. “They gain valuable financial knowledge and tools to apply in their everyday life. We’re pleased to see the program move beyond HBCU campuses and begin reaching more regional audiences. And we’re thankful to OneAmerica and all our partners.”


OneAmerica Chairman, President and CEO Scott Davison echoes their sentiments.


“At OneAmerica, we’ve built a diverse team and have a long-held commitment to inclusion,” Scott said. “Our financial literacy program is a profound and logical next step in our efforts to eradicate poverty and expand access to economic possibilities for everyone.”


While Pathways and the financial literacy curriculum are important, they’re just two among many other programs and initiatives of the DEI and Community Affairs teams. For her part, Kim’s reward is seeing the impact of the programs. It’s the opportunity of the many reflecting back on her, the one.


“If you affect one individual, you affect a family,” Kim said. “If you affect a family, you impact a whole community. As the program grows and students begin to use and share what they’ve learned, we expect to see an exponential growth in financial literacy in underserved communities. Each member of the community is important to us. And this program is a continuation of our commitment to create opportunities for financial security for all Americans.”