Mayors Receive Dollarwise Awards To Support Financial Education

The United States Conference of Mayors’ DollarWise Campaign Awards:

Innovation Grants – Akron, OH; Baltimore, MD; Houston, TX

Summer Youth Campaign Grants – Little Rock, AR and Orlando, FL

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) DollarWise Campaign has awarded its 2018 Innovation Grants to three cities with extraordinary financial education initiatives. Akron, OH received a grant to provide financial education within its public school system; Baltimore, MD received a grant to incorporate financial education into its English as a Second Language programming; Houston, TX was awarded a grant to integrate financial education into its Prisoner Re-entry efforts. DollarWise presented each city with a $10,000 grant to support its initiatives.


DollarWise also awarded its annual Summer Youth Campaign (SYC) Grants to Orlando, FL, to integrate financial education into its summer youth program, and to Little Rock, AR, to incorporate financial education into its youth programming year-round. DollarWise presented $10,000 grants to both cities.


Since its inception, DollarWise has given sixty-nine grants to cities that bring innovation to their financial education programming.  These grants have often led to additional cities adopting similar approaches to delivering financial education to targeted audiences and the general public.


This year’s DollarWise awards were presented on January 25th 2018, during the 86th Winter Meeting of The U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington, D.C.


“The Mayors’ DollarWise Campaign helps cities integrate financial education into their ESL, Prisoner Re-Entry, and youth programming,” said U.S. Conference of Mayors President Mitch Landrieu. “This program impacts the lives of real people, and we applaud our mayors for their innovation and success.


The awards were made possible through the generous support of the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, the founding sponsor of the DollarWise Campaign.


“We’re honored to partner with The U.S. Conference of Mayors to provide financial education to communities that need it most,” said Kerry Sullivan, President of the Bank of America Charitable Foundation. “Connecting individuals to better money habits that will give them tools for success is an important part of our work to advance economic mobility and social progress in cities across the country.”


The following descriptions highlight each program and how the DollarWise grants will be used:


Innovation Grant Award Recipients:


The City of Akron was awarded an Innovation Grant to provide financial education training to high school youth in Akron’s “Teen and Money” program.

DollarWise funding will establish an ongoing youth-led financial literacy program in the City of Akron, engage a minimum of 2,500 participants, and recruit and train 24 student and 10 adult facilitators to deliver financial education training.


The City of Baltimore was awarded an Innovation Grant to integrate financial education into its English as a Second Language (ESL) programming through the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant and Multicultural Affairs. DollarWise funding will provide one-on-one coaching to students in Baltimore City Community College’s ESL classes, help the city host ongoing financial education workshops, and issue public service announcements on financial education and ESL through Baltimore’s public access network – CharmTV.


The City of Houston was awarded an Innovation Grant to provide financial education training to participants in its Turnaround Houston initiative, which helps residents return to their communities and build small businesses after incarceration. DollarWise funds will provide workshops on credit restoration, saving, loans, and taxes. Program participants will learn how to set financial goals for their business, while establishing one, two, and five-year financial forecasts that assist participants in preparing a budget for startup costs, cash flow, and to planning for the unexpected.



Summer Youth Campaign (SYC) Grant Award Recipients:



The City of Orlando was awarded a Summer Youth Campaign Grant to expand financial education within its PKZ Youth Employment Program. DollarWise funds will help provide participating youth with soft-skills training and educational seminars that cover a range of topics including: finding a financial role model, college loans, financial goal setting, budgeting, credit, where to find financial resources, and entrepreneurship.


The City of Little Rock was awarded a DollarWise Summer Youth Campaign Grant to expand the city’s Summer Youth Employment initiative, which offers programming to youth year-round. Little Rock’s “Program Enhancement” service reaches approximately 450 young people. Instruction topics include: budgeting, credit & credit scores, credit & debit cards, decision-making, gross income, opportunity cost, and financial risk.


About the DollarWise Grants Programs


The DollarWise Innovation Grants Program awards grants to member cities of The U.S. Conference of Mayors that demonstrate innovative, ongoing financial literacy programs for their citizens. DollarWise specifically focuses its Innovation Grants program on integrating financial education into English as a Second Language and Prisoner Re-entry programs. An additional Innovation Grant is offered via an “Open Category.”


The Bank of America Charitable Foundation has generously supported DollarWise since its inception. The DollarWise Campaign and the Innovation Grants Program grew out of a desire from members of The Conference of Mayors’ Council on Metro Economies and the New American City (CNAC) to help residents learn more about financial issues and to empower them to become investors in their communities.


The DollarWise Summer Youth Campaign (SYC) is an initiative that encourages mayors to use their summer youth programs to deliver financial education to youth in their communities. DollarWise recognizes that it is important to offer youth comprehensive financial education when they receive their first paycheck, so that they can adopt conscientious habits and attitudes toward money and financial management. DollarWise awards grants to member cities of The U.S. Conference of Mayors that demonstrate innovative ways of incorporating a financial education curriculum into their local summer youth programs.


The DollarWise Campaign is the official financial education initiative of The United States Conference of Mayors and its Council on Metro Economies and the New American City. Since 2004, hundreds of cities have participated in DollarWise Campaign initiatives and programs. For more information on the DollarWise Campaign visit us at, or contact James Kirby at


By |2018-01-25T16:12:51+00:00January 25, 2018|86th Winter Meeting, News|

About the Author:

Sara Durr is our Director of Communications at the Conference. She can be contacted by phone at 202-215-1811 or via email at