Archive for September 2011

Hard work and…financial literacy

I recently read an interesting article about the racial wealth gap, called “Making it in the US: More Than Just Hard Work” by Pam Fessler.  In the article, the author argues that wealth is passed down through the generations instead of individuals building it.  An example given in the article describes two women who make similar incomes but one is wealthier because her family background. How? Perhaps the woman’s parents were in the position to pay for her college (so she has no college debt) or to help her with a down payment on a home. Maybe she lived in a neighborhood with better schools or she inherited money from her grandmother and invested it.  It seems that the author’s main point is that people do not start out with the same financial resources available to them and where they end up (financially) as adults is both a reflection of their hard work as well as the family background and societal situation they grew up in.

I was moved by this article.  I feel that I have seen similar situations in my own life and at work.  Now that I am working at Financial Beginnings, I think it would have also been interesting if the author had examined the connection between people’s income and the knowledge of how to successfully manage their money.  Perhaps it is not only wealth that passes through the generations but also the knowledge of how to manage it?

Press Release- Financial Beginnings and Operation HOPE seek inspirational business people to speak to Oregon youth


Media Contact

Melody Thompson


Financial Beginnings and Operation HOPE seek inspirational business people to speak to Oregon youth

PORTLAND, Ore., September 13, 2011—Financial Beginnings and Operation HOPE, both nonprofits that provide free financial education classes to youth and young adults, are partnering and recruiting speakers for two special fall events.

Global Dignity Day –Operation HOPE is hosting an event in Portland on and around October 20th, 2011 to celebrate Global Dignity Day.

Speakers will touch on:

What dignity means to them?

The role personal responsibility plays in contributing to the local economy and a healthy community?

Sharing tips, ideas, and advice that would help motivate students to start living a life they would be proud of?

Sharing challenges they have faced and what accomplishments they have celebrated in leading a dignified life?

National Entrepreneurship Week – Financial Beginnings is hosting events the week of November 14th-20th 2011 to celebrate National Entrepreneurship Week. This community event will raise awareness of Financial Beginnings’ new Entrepreneurship program.

Speakers will touch on:

Who or what originally motivated them, and from where they continue to

draw inspiration?

What entrepreneurial spirit means to them?

What challenges have you faced and what accomplishments have you celebrated?

The role an entrepreneur plays in a thriving community and how entrepreneurs contribute to the local economy?

Community leaders, educators, business professionals, and youth will gather to celebrate, learn, and share inspiration and ideas. Financial Beginnings and Operation HOPE are seeking speakers for these events and/or an ongoing basis to inspire youth and young adults in the over 100 schools and community groups throughout the Northwest which they serve. If you are interested in getting involved please email or call 800-406-1876.

About Financial Beginnings

Formed in 2005 and based in Portland, OR, Financial Beginnings is a nonprofit organization that provides multi-session courses, free of charge, to students and young adults throughout the Pacific Northwest through visits to their individual schools or community groups. The courses incorporate all aspects of personal finance to provide individuals the foundation needed to make informed financial decisions. More information is available at

About Operation HOPE

Founded in 1992, social empowerment nonprofit Operation HOPE’s mission is to expand economic opportunity in under-resourced communities through financial literacy education. HOPE promotes “silver rights” – making free enterprise and capitalism relevant and effective for the underserved. Raising more than $500 million and directing and restructuring nearly $500 million more in mortgages and economic support from the private sector, for a total of approximately $1 billion dollars in economic activity, HOPE seeks dignity and empowerment for all.