Grants and scholarships are expanding professional financial coaching in our region

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We know that the financial wellness of adults has tremendous impact on the academic stability and success of their children. The more financial breathing room parents have, the more space kids have to do well in school.

Our United Way has been supporting financial capability work in our region for several years. These programs and services, including financial coaching, are not about telling people what they need to do to succeed in life. They are about helping to connect people with the information, resources and opportunities they need to overcome challenges and reach self-defined financial goals and dreams for themselves and their families. Thanks to significant funding from Citi Community Development and additional support from JPMorgan Chase, for 2017 we’ve been able to make financial coaching grants to five organizations in our region, creating a strong support network for low-to-moderate-income people seeking support with financial concerns and goals.

  • Community Housing Opportunities Corporation: CHOC has been working on financial wellness for a few years with their affordable housing residents.. This grant is helping them expand their one-on-one coaching in Sacramento and Yolo Counties, and is building the capacity of more of their staff members to participate, through training and other support.
  • Health Education Council: This grant will allow HEC to integrate financial coaching into their existing health education efforts at three locations: Robla School District – the heart of our Square One Project, the Consulate General of Mexico in Sacramento, and the Valley Hi neighborhood of South Sacramento.
  • Life OnTrak: While based in Sacramento, this organization has primarily conducted credit and general financial counseling in the Bay Area through partnerships with the United Way and community colleges there. This grant is allowing them to expand this activity here to their home base through various local partnerships.
  • Opening Doors: This grant is allowing Opening Doors to expand the one-on-one financial coaching element of their MoneyWork$ program, which helps Spanish-speaking households to manage personal and small business finances. It is also making possible an expansion of financial coaching to the organization’s refugee childcare business development program
  • St. John’s Program for Real Change: United Way previously supported St. John’s work in financial education and coaching with the women in their program during the early stages of their shelter residency. This grant is allowing them to extend financial coaching with the women for a longer period of time as they prepare for and transition to independent living and employment. The grant will also support building a coaching element for women who achieve alumna status with St. John’s.

In keeping with the national movement to professionalize financial coaching work with lower-income households, we have also awarded  seven outstanding individuals with scholarships for the study materials and exam fees required to become Accredited Financial Coaches through the Association for Financial Counseling & Planning Education. We asked the cohort members why they’re excited to be part of this, here’s what a few of them had to say:

Marissa Munzing, Health Education Council

“I am eager to learn more about personal finance and to begin integrating financial capability services into healthy eating and active living work so I can more effectively help the communities I serve. This is a fantastic opportunity!”

Quinta Davenport, St. John’s Program for Real Change

“I am grateful to have this opportunity to further develop my financial prowess. I am looking forward to both my own personal growth, and being able to more effectively guide others towards financial success.”

Renee West, Elk Grove Food Bank Services

“I’ve always been financially responsible. I learned from the best, my father who was my first Financial Coach. Now, with the formal training through AFCPE I will fulfill my lifelong passion to help others find financial happiness.”

Angie Lopez, Community Housing Opportunities Corporation

“I am excited for the opportunity to participate in the first financial coaching cohort to change the way we discuss money and finances to build individual wealth. The AFCPE certification strengthens the expertise of each coach and builds a pathway for us to collectively transform our communities one family at a time.”