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January 01 2008

Banking on our Future initiative will empower students to become financially fit adults

Boston, MA – April 25, 2008 – In the face of national economic woes and a local foreclosure crisis nonprofit, Operation HOPE (HOPE) and its local supporters joined At-Large City Councilor Michael Flaherty at a convened public hearing on April 17 to determine how the city of Boston can expand financial literacy training for youth. 


Previously, students hired through the Private Industry Council and ABCD Summerworks for summer jobs were provided financial literacy training, students hired by the city were not.  To remedy this, Flaherty secured a financial literacy course for all youth employed by the city’s summer jobs program.  At no cost to the city, HOPE will teach its award-winning Banking on Our Future curriculum to the first-time workers.    


“Operation HOPE’s financial literacy program will educate our youth this summer about how to responsibly cash, deposit and save their wages,” said Flaherty.  “The city’s role in teaching kids where to cash a paycheck is just as vital as the city’s role in helping them earn one,” stated Councilor Flaherty.   


The Boston office of Banking on Our Future started in 2003, and since has educated more than 15,800 students.  Through its supporting partners over $725,000 has been invested to help teach Boston ’s youth how to be fiscally fit.  


“In order to educate more of our youth and place them on the right path to managing their financial futures, support like that of Councilor Flaherty ' s is essential,” said Meghan Hoyt , Program Manager for the Banking on Our Future program at HOPE’s Boston office. “With support and investments from banks and business across Greater Boston, Banking on Our Future will act as a vessel and delivery service, placing trained and professional volunteers from economic and financial industries directly into classrooms and community sites.  Investing into financial education for our young people is key to the success of Boston ’s economic future.”   HOPE and Councilor Flaherty’s office are also collaborating to get an editorial piece into local newspapers to increase the public’s awareness of this crisis and its empowering solution.   


During the hearing, Flaherty called upon the city to conduct a study that determines how many residents of Boston currently do not have a bank account.  Flaherty also heard testimony from several banks and local chapters of national financial literacy organizations about how the city can expand financial education opportunities for residents.  


Aida R. Franquiz, a strong HOPE supporter and Chairwoman of the Boston Office’s Advisory Council, has been instrumental in the helping HOPE to serve more children. “Financial literacy is an important step for those who face barriers to employment or currently lack the education and skills to make positive financial choices,” said the Boston Private Bank & Trust Company AVP & CRA Associate at the Bank, who also provided testimony, “At Boston Private Bank & Trust Company we realize that creating a community that is financial fit is a step towards building a stronger economy and a stronger Boston which benefits everyone.”