For Winona State University student Nicholas Gabriele, college life isn’t just about working toward his degree in finance or his minor in statistics. It’s about getting involved in the community—both on campus and off—to make connections and make a difference.

Currently a member of the Financial Management Association, College of Business Dean’s Advisory Board, Greek Council and Tau Kappa Epsilon, Gabriele described getting involved as “the single most important thing a student can do,” Gabriele said.

“Not only does getting involved open up a great network for building friendships and career connections, but also it presents opportunities to help improve the community in ways that normally wouldn’t be achievable individually,” Gabriele said.

An upcoming event Gabriele has helped organize is Money Smart Week, taking place April 22-28 at WSU and around the Winona community.

“I chose to be involved with Money Smart Week because I believe that more students need to learn fundamental skills within finance that will help them not only during their time here at Winona, but for the challenges that will face them in the real world,” Gabriele said.

Money Smart Week, co-hosted by WSU’s College of Business and The Krueger Library, will feature professionals from all around Winona, covering topics like buying a car, credit basics, filing taxes, financing student loans, investing and eliminating debt.

Participating local financial businesses include Winona National Bank, Altra Federal Credit Union, Merchants Investment Services, Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union and Bremer Bank.

Money Smart Week “will be a great opportunity for current students to branch out and network with community members and professionals attending or hosting the events,” Gabriele said.

“Establishing community and university connections is important because Winona State isn’t just a bubble in the middle of Winona, but a community of individuals who are eager to branch out and learn more about their town and the individuals who live here,” Gabriele added.

Money Smart Week is a public awareness campaign designed to help consumers better manage their personal finances. This is achieved through the collaboration and coordinated effort of hundreds of organizations across the country including businesses, financial institutions, schools, libraries, not-for-profits, government agencies and the media.

For more information about Money Smart Week, contact at Carol DaulElhindi by calling 507-457-5147 or emailing her at