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Dollarwise Awards Annual Grants to Eight Cities

By James Kirby
January 28, 2013

Summer Youth Grants to: Wichita; St. Louis; Kokomo; Chester (PA); Richmond (CA)

The DollarWise Campaign awarded its annual Summer Youth Campaign (SYC) Grants for financial literacy January 19, during the 81st Winter Meeting of The United States Conference of Mayors. The grants were awarded to Wichita, St. Louis, Kokomo (IN), Chester (PA), and Richmond (CA). The winners were announced at the Plenary Luncheon by Conference of Mayors Vice President Mesa Mayor Scott Smith.

Each city will use its DollarWise SYC award to integrate financial education into their local summer youth employment program (SYEP). Through the generous support of the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, DollarWise awarded each city a $4,000 grant. These cities have unique programs that address financial education needs. Their programs will serve as templates for other cities across the country to follow.

Wichita’s The Way to Work Program provides paid work experience to youth four hours a day, and includes a paid career skills workshop session. Prior to starting their jobs, youth participate in classes on financial literacy and money management.

St. Louis’ “STL Youth Jobs Program” will create jobs for youth ages 16–23 from two high-risk neighborhoods. The program will help lay the foundation for social, career, and academic growth for youth including comprehensive financial literacy training.

Kokomo’s Summer Youth Employment Program will allow 60 youth, ages 15-21, the opportunity to participate in a structured financial literacy program while working with seasonal employees at Kokomo Beach, the city’s municipal swimming pool.

Chester’s Employer Paid Internship Program provides six-week, paid summer internship opportunities for youth ages 16–21. The program facilitates both hands-on work experience as well as a complementary professional development series, which includes a financial education component.

Richmond’s Summer Youth Employment Program will implement its ninth annual community supported summer jobs initiative in 2013. Program participants will work up to 100 hours in a local business or community organization. They will also undergo development training with emphasis on financial management.

“We believe that a strong foundation to educate consumers on the benefits of savings is a critical skill for future economic success,” said Bank of America Charitable Foundation President Kerry Sullivan. “We are pleased to support the DollarWise program and the work of the Conference of Mayors in improving financial literacy for residents across the U.S.”

Innovation Grants to: San Francisco, Philadelphia, Baltimore

The DollarWise Campaign also awarded its annual Innovation Grants for Financial Literacy to San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Baltimore.

San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Baltimore received DollarWise Innovation Grants to expand local programs that further financial literacy education and promote responsible money management. With the financial support of the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, DollarWise awarded each city a $15,000 grant.

San Francisco’s Office of Financial Empowerment has offered financial services to 1,900 bay area residents through the San Francisco Financial Planning Day. It has also conducted over 150 financial education workshops with partner organizations, reaching over 2,300 San Francisco residents. With the DollarWise grant, the program will expand its overall outreach especially within its target demographics: domestic violence survivors, residents of affordable housing, adults with disabilities, and older adults.

Philadelphia has been a national leader in foreclosure prevention, saving over 5,000 homes through its Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Diversion program. In order to prepare homeowners recovering from the crisis of foreclosure for long-term financial success, Philadelphia has established a comprehensive financial education effort: “Tools for Financial Growth” (TFFG) which will expand its reach with the DollarWise Innovation Grant.

Baltimore has established a strong, ongoing campaign that weaves financial literacy education into the city’s YouthWorks summer jobs program. Each year, YouthWorks places approximately 5,000 young people, ages 14–21, in six-week summer work experiences at more than 400 worksites. With the DollarWise Innovation Grant, Baltimore will expand the financial literacy component of its summer program.

DollarWise awards Innovation Grants to member cities of The U.S. Conference of Mayors that demonstrate innovative, ongoing financial literacy programs for their citizens. The Bank of America Charitable Foundation has generously supported DollarWise since the program’s inception.

The DollarWise Campaign congratulates all of the cities and the their mayors for receiving these awards and thanks them for their outstanding commitment to financial literacy. DollarWise encourages all mayors to establish financial education and summer youth employment programs in their cities and to participate in DollarWise grants programs and initiatives.