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October 26 2011

PNC Foundation Grants Operation HOPE $100,000 to Empower Underserved Youth in Baltimore

Local college students will assist as volunteer teachers for financial literacy and role models  ?

Baltimore, MD–Operation HOPE, America's leading nonprofit organization dedicated to financial literacy and economic empowerment, has received a two-year $100,000 grant from the PNC Foundation to educate 2,500 Baltimore elementary and middle school students through Banking on Our Future, a youth financial literacy empowerment program.

The initiative will kick-off on October 26 with the first of a series of financial literacy empowerment sessions. The first “Financial Literacy Day of Service” will be provided by HOPE-trained volunteers from the University of Baltimore School of Law. Volunteers will teach financial education lessons to students in fourth through eighth grades at the Waverly Elementary/Middle School.

“We are very excited to partner with PNC in the Baltimore market. There are a significant number of children in the local community who can benefit from this type of empowerment and mentorship,” said Jackie Starr, HOPE Eastern Regional Director. “We established a successful financial education program with PNC’s support in the Philadelphia market and look forward to extending that model here in Baltimore.”

Since 1996, the nonprofit’s award-winning Banking on Our Future (BOOF) program has helped youth in underserved communities understand the importance of financial literacy. Centered on five modules for wise money management and augmented with an understanding of dignity, the program has already reached close to 600,000 youth around the world. In 2003, BOOF was established in the Baltimore area and since has empowered nearly 25,000 students using trained volunteers.

"PNC is dedicated to enriching the communities that we serve through financial education.   “This initiative with Operation HOPE continues the shared history of both organizations in serving the community,” said Louis Cestello, PNC regional president for Greater Maryland. “The program will help young children better understand that everything has value and show parents how to turn everyday moments into financial learning experiences for their kids.”

In June 2010, the Maryland State Board of Education required local school systems to implement a program of study in financial literacy at the elementary, middle and high school levels, beginning the 2011-2012 school year.

Through services and programs delivered by its Community Development Banking group, PNC helps build strong communities and create financial opportunities for individuals, families and businesses in low and moderate income communities. In 2010, PNC invested more than $60 million in communities across 15 states and the District of Columbia to encourage home ownership, economic development and partnerships with organizations that support community services and provide financial as well as early childhood education.

About PNC Foundation
The PNC Foundation, which receives its principal funding from The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: PNC), actively supports organizations that provide services for the benefit of communities in which it has a significant presence. The foundation focuses its philanthropic mission on early childhood education and community and economic development, which includes the arts and culture. PNC has extended its signature cause, PNC Grow Up Great, by $250 million over 10 years to enhance early childhood education and school readiness.

About Operation HOPE
Since 1992, Operation HOPE has been America’s leading financial literacy and empowerment nonprofit.  Through its four principle portfolios: Banking on Our Future, HOPE Coalition America, HOPE Financial Literacy Empowerment Centers, and HOPE Corps, the organization addresses youth and adult financial literacy, economic preparedness, bridges the digital divide and promotes home ownership and assists with foreclosure prevention. With the support of more than 400 private sector companies, 5000 nonprofit organizations and schools and government partners, HOPE has reached over 1.5 million low-wealth individuals in 70 U.S. cities and South Africa. The organization has raised more than $500 million and helped to restructure more than $360 million in sub-prime mortgages from the private sector, for more than a total of approximately $1 billion in economic activity for the disenfranchised. At the core of HOPE’s mission is a Silver Rights Movement, ensuring that free enterprise and capitalism work to provide a better future for underserved communities around the world. To learn more about HOPE, visit our website and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.