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January 01 2010

Operation HOPE and Gallup to Measure Financial Literacy for Youth

The new Gallup-HOPE Financial Literacy Index will empower at-risk youth with the financial wisdom needed to thrive in America and the global business stage

ATLANTA--(April 15, 2010)--On April 7th, under the backdrop of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Operation HOPE (HOPE) Founder, Chairman and CEO John Hope Bryant along with Gallup Chairman and CEO Jim Clifton announced the creation of the Gallup-HOPE Financial Literacy Index. This first of its kind index will measure youth's relationship to financial literacy, how they envision their future and provide them with targeted, impactful training so that they ultimately achieve their aspired financial goals.

“Helping America’s youth understand the financial system is an empowerment tool that bleeds over into every aspect of their lives," said Bryant. “And helping us get our hands around the perspective they have on this subject will help us help them.”

HOPE and Gallup understand that America’s youth are the future workforce and business builders of this country and that youth achieving their financial goals goes hand in hand with America realizing its economic potential and remaining competitive globally.

The Gallup-HOPE Financial Literacy Index will assess youth on their financial responsibilities and opportunities, evaluate their financial literacy and analyze how that relationship factors into their hope and wellbeing. The index will provide policy makers and community-based organizations with a tangible way to measure youth financial literacy and its impact on their communities and local economies. Gallup research has already proven that “hope” is a more powerful indicator of academic success and graduation than GPA and ACT scores. The new Gallup-HOPE Financial Literacy Index builds on this foundation, and recognizes that young people who do not understand the “language of money,” and who do not see opportunity in their lives, simply will not be successful over the long-term.

“Our children are in the playoff games of their lives with rising global economic powers,” notes Jim Clifton. “For us to compete successfully, we need to ensure that our nation is focused on new strategies and solutions that ensure all kids are ready for college, work, and life in the 21st century. That's why our partnership with Operation HOPE is so important, like the work both of our organizations do with the America's Promise Alliance; our goal is to give schools and communities a new metric for school and community competitiveness.”

In making this announcement, Bryant revealed that Operation HOPE will also create the HOPE Office of Research and Assessment. This new department will focus not only on tracking the Gallup-HOPE Financial Literacy Index statistics but also on collecting, assessing and analyzing data as it pertains to HOPE services and their measurable direct impact on youth, adults and the community at large.

This historic agreement between HOPE and Gallup builds on the larger framework established by HOPE and the Financial Services Roundtable (FSR) in June 2009, during the HOPE Global Financial Literacy Summit. That agreement solidified FSR’s commitment to work with HOPE in providing financial literacy education and support for the next five years. FSR is an organization that represents the largest financial services institutions in the United States, and whose CEO serves on its governing board of directors.

Gallup and HOPE’s commitment to this groundbreaking initiative will span the next five years and focus primarily on low-income areas where HOPE has a physical presence and deep commitment to equipping this generation with the full financial knowledge and expertise to thrive.