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May 26 2011

Union Bank Partners with Operation HOPE to Teach Financial Education Course to Boys & Girls Club of Hollywood

Students recognized for completing HOPE’s successful “Banking on Our Future” youth financial literacy empowerment program taught by bank volunteers

Los Angeles, May 26, 2011 –  As part of its ongoing commitment to the communities it serves and to help increase youth financial education, Union Bank, N.A., partnered with Operation HOPE, Inc. (HOPE) and the Boys and Girls Club of Hollywood (BGCH) to educate youth ages 13 – 16 about the basics of personal finance.  Union Bank volunteers began teaching HOPE’s award-winning Banking on Our Future program to members of the BGCH beginning on April 26, 2011. The five-week program culminated with a graduation-style recognition ceremony to celebrate the students’ completion of the program on Tuesday, May 24.

The Banking on Our Future curriculum includes courses focused on the Basics of Banking, Checking and Saving Accounts, the Power of Credit, Basic Investments and a course titled “Dignity.”  Each week, the teens participating in the program learned practical lessons by using hands-on calculations and real-world examples. 

“We were very excited to be a part of this unique venture with Union Bank and Operation HOPE,” said Boys & Girls Club of Hollywood Executive Director Mel Culpepper. “We strive hard to instill self-esteem, courage and positive values through all of our programs, and seeing the excitement of the students receiving their completion certificates proves that this financial education program is an excellent example of businesses and community-based organizations investing in the lives of our youth – in the end, it helps us achieve our mission of teaching critical life skills.”

In a graduation style ceremony held May 24, students were formally acknowledged and awarded certificates by Union Bank and HOPE executives for successfully completing the program.  During the final class, Union Bank Executive Vice President Julius Robinson, head of Corporate Social Responsibility, also shared his success story for students and special guests.

“Union Bank is committed to educating our future leaders, and our partnership with HOPE helps us to support financial literacy

programs throughout the year and to encourage employee volunteerism,” said Robinson.  “Being able to bring HOPE’s Banking on Our Future program to the Boys & Girls Club of Hollywood is an honor, and as I spoke to the students during the final class, I was inspired by their enthusiasm for learning. We hope to teach many more Boys & Girls Club members in the future.”

The classroom edition of Banking on Our Future is a critical element of HOPE’s FIVE MILLION KIDS Initiative aimed at making kids money smart and lowering the school dropout rate in America.  Union Bank was the first national sponsor of the initiative.  HOPE Senior Vice President, Director of Operations, Global Financial Literacy Initiatives Kevin Fleming sums up the commitment to financial literacy saying, “Involving the entire community, from volunteers from the banking sector to parents to teachers and to celebrities like Quincy Jones, HOPE is focused on empowering youth and making a tangible difference in their  lives.” 

Banking on Our Future was designed to elevate the dignity, hope, and economic self-sufficiency of people in low-wealth communities through financial literacy.  Since its inception, the program has reached more than 550,000 students in more than 700 schools and community-based organizations in the U.S., South Africa and Haiti.

About UnionBanCal Corporation & Union Bank, N.A.
Headquartered in San Francisco, UnionBanCal Corporation is a financial holding company with assets of $80.6 billion at March 31, 2011. Its primary subsidiary, Union Bank, N.A., is a full-service commercial bank providing an array of financial services to individuals, small businesses, middle-market companies, and major corporations. The bank operated 401 banking offices in California, Washington, Oregon and Texas, as well as two international offices, on March 31, 2011. UnionBanCal Corporation is a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd., which is a subsidiary of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc. Union Bank is a proud member of the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG, NYSE:MTU), one of the world’s largest financial organizations. Visit for more information.

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. Follow Operation HOPE at,, and

About Boys & Girls Club Hollywood
The mission of the Boys & Girls Club of Hollywood is to provide every child with the essential tools needed for a successful and bright future. Since 1937, the vision has grown and changed with the needs of our children and their families. As the needs continue to change, so will the dynamics of the programs and services.   The BGCH strives to improve each child’s life by instilling self-esteem, courage, and positive values through all of our educational programs. Our youth come to The Club to receive tutoring, homework assistance, computer training, sports, social recreation, the arts, music lessons, leadership opportunities and so much more. Our members gain confidence by developing a sense of usefulness, competence and belonging.  Located on the Web at


Photo by Ian Foxx

Union Bank and Operation HOPE executives paused for a photo with Boys & Girls Club of Hollywood Executive Director Melba Culpepper (at podium) after recognizing the youth from the club who recently completed HOPE’s award-winning Banking on Our Future youth financial literacy empowerment program. Also pictured (L to R):  Union Bank Vice President Cesar Trelles, Community Affairs manager; Union Bank Executive Vice President Mike Feldman, head of California Branch Banking; HOPE Los Angeles Program Manager Kedisa Johnson; Union Bank Vice Chairman Tim Wennes, chief Retail Banking officer; Union Bank Executive Vice President Julius Robinson, head of Corporate Social Responsibility; HOPE Southwest Region Market Vice President Leo Cablayan; HOPE Communications Manager Gordon Langlois; Union Bank volunteer instructor JoAnn Acosta; Chief of HOPE Financial Literacy Empowerment Centers Lance Triggs; Union Bank volunteer instructor and Senior Relationship Manager Albert Aguilar; HOPE Senior Los Angeles Program Manager Nicole Warner; and HOPE Senior Vice President, Director of Operations, Global Financial Literacy Initiatives Kevin Fleming.