Jean Chatzky, Patrice Washington & Louis Barajas

How did producers choose the Opportunity Coaches?


Opportunity Knock$ host Ronaldo Hardy meets with the stars Jean Chatzky, Louis Barajas and Patrice Washington.
Opportunity Knocks host, Ronaldo Hardy, meets with stars Jean Chatzky, Louis Barajas and Patrice Washington on-set.

Opportunity Knocks is part of the Opportunity Initiative funded by the National Council for Financial Opportunities. The show 's mission is to inspire people to build better lives, show them how and make it truly possible by removing systematic barriers that perpetuate inequality. It was essential to choose Opportunity Coaches with those shared values.

“It's not just for show. It's reality."

When producers set out to create Opportunity Knocks they were guided by a former CDFI CEO, Brandon Michaels, to begin with values. Early on it was clear that the values must include the real world impact not just on viewers, but also families cast in the series.


When casting for the Opportunity Coaches they knew that it was essential to cast financial experts that share the show's values. It was clear that Jean, Patrice and Louis are dedicated to changing the lives of not just the people in the series, but also viewers at home.


Louis was born in the barrio of East Los Angeles, the son of Mexican immigrants. Today he is the President of MGO Private Wealth and a financial manager for some of the biggest Latino pop stars in the music industry. As a financial healer, true to his roots, he still provides financial coaching in his barrio in East LA. He also stands as a leader redefining stereotypes which is critical in equitable representation. He was the first minority and first Latino to serve on the National Board of the Financial Planning Association (FPA). How could producers not choose Louis as a coach!


After calling America’s Money Maven, producers knew within the first five minutes that they wanted to cast her as an Opportunity Coach. It was both her philosophy and story that moved made the decision easy. Patrice has it right with her focus to "redefine wealth" and mantra to "chase purpose, not money" She understands the struggle faced by the 64% of Americans living paycheck to paycheck and calls upon her own experience to connect with the families she coaches.


Jean Chatzky was cast not just because of her deep credentials as the financial editor of NBC Today for 25 years and the Financial Ambassador for AARP or reoccurring roles on CNN, MSNBC and The Oprah Winfrey Show. As the CEO of HerMoney.com, she is the nation's leading advocate on reducing the stress and barriers for women to build better financial lives. And she is deeply moved to create wealth building and financial inclusion across generations. She partnered with wC Charitable Foundation and Time for Kids to launch Your $, an in-school magazine that reaches 2 million school children each month.


Will their experience be enough to help families open the doors when Opportunity Knocks?