Economic Hardships Common Among Gig & Frontline Workers During Pandemic

Posted on November 20, 2023

Mathieu Despard
Dr. Mathieu Despard's research focuses on financial wellness.

Dr. Mathieu Despard wants to understand and address the barriers that prevent Americans from reaching their financial goals: a goal fueled by his past working as a social worker.

Before entering academia, Despard held diverse roles that gave him a glimpse into everyday financial challenges, including managing a free clinic, starting financial empowerment programs for lower-income families, and assisting lower-income persons living with HIV.

“I saw firsthand what people were up against with our economic system,” says Despard, who is a faculty member in in UNCG’s Department of Social Work. “I wanted to do research that was very practical with respect to figuring out, ‘How can we help all people be financially secure?’”