Minneapolis Planner Tonia Brinston Found a Path Out of Debt and Now Aims to Lift a Community
Last fall, Tonia Brinston was named one of the Twin Cities’ “Top Women in Finance” by Finance & Commerce newspaper.
She was a rare woman of color among honorees and she doesn’t work for a financial services or accounting firm. And she sure doesn’t boast a six-figure income.
However, Brinston has had an important impact in our community in recent years.
Brinston, 52, is a veteran financial educator at Lutheran Social Service (LSS), working with vulnerable seniors on issues such as financial security and avoiding scams. She also works with lower-income women to budget, manage money, cut debt and take control of their financial lives.
“I love helping to … reduce the shame and stigma that surrounds personal debt with members of marginalized communities,” she said. “I almost feel like I’m obligated to pay it forward. I see people walking in the same shoes and making the same mistakes that I once made.”