Tag Archive for bank of america

Financial Beginnings receives $12,000 from Bank of America to fund financial edcuation

PORTLAND, Ore., March 16, 2013Financial Beginnings, a Portland-based nonprofit that provides financial education at no cost to children and young adults, recently received a $12,000 grant from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation.  The grant will provide funding for Financial Beginnings’ free financial education programs for low-income students in grades K-12.

“This grant could not come at a more critical time,” says Melody Bell, Financial Beginnings executive director. “We have seen demand for our programs increase dramatically due to the new financial literacy requirements and this grant from Bank of America will help us with that need.”

Financial Beginnings and Bank of America have a long-standing partnership providing financial education to youth throughout Oregon and southwest Washington.  Bank of America has provided a total of $47,000 in funding to Financial Beginnings since 2010. For the last two years, Bank of America has been recognized as Financial Beginnings’ Partner of the Year because of the incredible employee commitment in spreading financial literacy to youth.  During the last program year, Bank of America employees taught 1,546 youth at 23 schools and community groups in Oregon. There are 123 trained Bank of America employees that have spent 190 hours in the classroom.

In addition to grant support and employee volunteer time in the classroom, Bob Cook from Bank of America sits on Financial Beginnings’ Board of Directors.  Cook has been a key player expanding Financial Beginnings’ volunteer base.

“I’m so pleased to be on the board of Financial Beginnings to help them spread the word about the importance of financial education in our community,” said Bob Cook, business banking senior vice president at Bank of America for Oregon and southwest Washington.  “Helping students access the financial education they need is key to ensuring economic stability in the future, and I’m proud that Bank of America supports the great work we do for students and young adults across Oregon and southwest Washington.”

This $12,000 grant is part of $22 million in critical needs grants that Bank of America recently provided to over 1,000 nonprofits across the country—$86,000 of which was awarded to nonprofit organizations in Oregon and southwest Washington. The majority of these grants support nonprofits serving low-income communities that have been disproportionately affected by the economic downturn.  This funding is part of the company’s intensified philanthropic focus on three core issues vital to the economic health of communities: housing, jobs and hunger and represents an important component of Bank of America’s lending, investing and giving activities to help advance local economies.

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 www.financialbeginnings.org.

About Bank of America Corporate Social Responsibility

Bank of America’s commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a strategic part of doing business globally. Bank of America’s CSR efforts guide how it operates in a socially, economically, financially and environmentally responsible way around the world, to deliver for shareholders, customers, clients, and employees. The goal is to help create economically vibrant regions and communities through lending, investing, and giving. By partnering with stakeholders, Bank of America creates value that empowers individuals and communities to thrive and contributes to the long-term success of its business. Bank of America has several core areas of focus for CSR, including responsible business practices; environmental sustainability; strengthening local communities with a focus on housing, hunger, and jobs; investing in global leadership development; and engaging through arts and culture. As part of these efforts, employee volunteers across the company contribute their time, passion and expertise to address issues in communities where they live and work. Learn more at bankofamerica.com/about.

Over 500 high school students and young adults were introduced to the basics of personal finances

PORTLAND, Ore., February 22, 2013Financial Beginnings, a Portland-based nonprofit that provides free financial education programs, introduced over 500 high school students and young adults to the basics of money through two events on February 20th.

On the morning of February 20th several of Financial Beginnings’ dedicated volunteers and a group of JP Morgan Chase employees went to Southridge High School in Beaverton. The volunteers taught 90-minute sessions in 16 different classrooms covering finance topics such as banking, credit, budgeting, risk management and investing; over 400 high school seniors participated.  The classes about money were delivered by request from the students themselves and taught during their advisory period, which covers topics that help prepare them for life after high school.

In the evening, Financial Beginnings and The Oregonian hosted Unraveling the Mysteries of Your Money at Portland State University.  This panel’s topic was entitled, Positioning Yourself for Success: Financial Planning for Gen Y.  Over 100 individuals were in attendance to ask questions that were answered by a panel of financial professionals including: William J. Bernstein of Efficient Frontier Advisors, Christopher Porter of Merrill Lynch, Josh Reich of Simple.com, and Mark Strauss of Leonard Adams Insurance.

Unraveling the Mysteries of Your Money is a series of free forums open to the general public. These forums offer expert panelists who field questions and discuss finance topics that are relevant and important in today’s economy. They are organized and hosted by Financial Beginnings in partnership with The Oregonian newspaper and Brent Hunsberger, writer of the It’s Only Money column on personal finance, and who serves as the moderator of the forums. OnPoint Community Credit Union is the  title sponsor of the Unraveling the Mysteries of Your Money 2012/13 series.

Next forum:

Positioning Your Family for Success: Financial Planning for Young Families
Wednesday April 24, 2013 6:30-8pm at the Tigard Library

Joyce DeMonnin, Public Outreach Director at AARP
Terry A. Donahe, Certified Financial Planner at Cascade Wealth
Nelson Rutherford, CPA and CFP at Alten, Sakai & Co.
David C. Streicher, Attorney and CPA at Black Helterline LLP

For more information about the Unraveling the Mysteries of Your Money panel series, visit: http://www.FinancialBeginnings.com/Unraveling-the-Mysteries-of-Your-Money/

About Financial Beginnings

Formed in 2005 and based in Portland, OR, Financial Beginnings is a nonprofit organization that provides free financial education programs throughout the Pacific Northwest.  Financial Beginnings’ largest program educates youth and young adults in the basics of personal finance through visits to schools or community groups.  Financial Beginnings’ courses incorporate all aspects of personal finance to provide individuals the foundation needed to make informed financial decisions. More information is available at www.financialbeginnings.org.

Creating financially literate youth is a community responsibility

After Brent Hunsberger article, Oregon’s strong K-12 financial literacy standards still aren’t ideal,  last week I thought I’d expand upon the need for the entire community to embrace the need to raise money smart children.

When I was young, money was tight in our household, and my parents taught me the importance of budgeting. However, there were many areas regarding financial education in which my parents were not knowledgeable or comfortable, which led to little discussion on topics such as investing or insurance. Research confirms that the interactions I had with my family regarding personal finances were similar to many others. In a 2011 survey by T. Rowe Price entitled, “Parents, Kids & Money,” only 28 percent of parents said they felt “very prepared” to teach their children about basic finances.

My parents were not my only source for finance education. When I attended high school, personal finance was a mandatory half-credit course, but this requirement was removed in 1997. Since then, it has been difficult to track if and how personal finance is included in school curriculum and instruction. Not surprisingly, a 2010 survey by Pollinate entitled, “Teacher Attitudes and Beliefs About Teaching Financial Literacy,” found that 42 percent of teachers indicated they were “not at all confident” or only “somewhat confident” in their understanding of personal finance concepts.

The recent adoption of new Social Science Content Standards in Oregon is a step in the right direction for Oregon youth getting more instruction in personal finance. The new standards, coming this school year, include financial literacy as a standalone requirement in high school and earlier introduction to financial literacy concepts in K-8.

Still, even with improvements to the financial literacy standards, there is a gap that desperately needs to be filled. In short, young people still need personal finance education to become successful adults and knowledgeable consumers. If you’re interested in exploring strategies for securing your financial future, including how to move your 401k to gold without penalty, it should not be the sole responsibility of parents or the education system to ensure we bring up financially literate consumers. It is truly a community responsibility, and as the recent economic downturn has demonstrated, personal financial mismanagement can quickly become a community burden.

Personal finance is a constantly evolving subject. Think back to how the financial industry has changed from more than 20 years ago – when cash, and not credit, was the norm, and interest-only mortgages were unheard of. The rapidly evolving industry, coupled with the lack of a required in-school finance courses, is precisely why Portland-based Financial Beginnings was created. This organization helps parents and teachers keep up with the bevy of regulation changes and trends in the financial market.

Financial Beginnings provides free financial education to children and young adults, with local professionals from the financial services industry teaching everything from basic budgeting to investing. This partnership not only benefits the students but also the participating banks, credit unions and local businesses. Supporting such financial literacy nonprofits allows these organizations to create more informed future customers and members, and fosters a positive image for companies serving our community.

As our schools continue to face more budget cuts, and the economic climate keeps the need for financial literacy at the forefront, the demand for business involvement and support grows. Financial Beginnings is fortunate to have strong support from local businesses, banks, credit unions, CPA firms and financial advisors to meet this demand. These groups provide not just financial support but volunteers who teach our curriculum as well. These local volunteers and supporters champion the financial literacy effort and help fill this education gap.

One of our most successful models – and a model we hope to replicate – is our partnership with Bank of America. For the second year in a row, Bank of America is Financial Beginnings’ Partner of the Year because of the incredible employee volunteer model they have built with our organization – training more than 100 Bank employees to teach in community schools. In the past year, Bank of America employees served 1,546 young people at 23 schools and community groups in Portland by visiting classrooms and teaching students about the importance of financial literacy. Financial Beginnings would like to replicate this model with other companies.

Financial Beginnings is always looking for classroom volunteers and corporate partners. Volunteer training is free and an ideal way for businesses to connect with our schools and young people to ensure a thriving future local economy.

For more details on Financial Beginnings volunteer training programs or to support its programming efforts, visit www.financialbeginnings.org.