May 2017 Newsletter

A Message from Treasurer Jones

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It has been a busy spring around the Office of Financial Empowerment!

We are wrapping up the second year of our College Kids Children’s Savings Account Program. There are now 6,300 students at 65 St. Louis public schools on the path to college! We were also honored by Focus St. Louis at their annual What’s Right with the Region award ceremony. I would like to thank everyone who has supported College Kids, and I look forward to seeing how the program grows when we start our third year this fall.

We are also growing our financial empowerment classes by offering them at various locations in the St. Louis community. If you can’t make it to City Hall for a class, don’t worry! As you’ll see in this issue, you now have additional locations where you can participate in our classes and learn how to make your money work for you.

In addition to our classes, we also offer free credit and money management counseling. According to our financial empowerment partner Operation HOPE, 72% of their clients improved their credit score, with 25% achieving a credit score of 700 or better after six months of credit counseling! For more information, or to make an appointment, please call the OFE at (314) 622-4700.

 


College Kids Honored for Innovation

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Did you know that when you pay a parking ticket or pay to park at a meter or in a city owned parking garage, you are helping to send a child to college?

That kind of innovative thinking is why Focus St. Louis chose College Kids as one of the recipients of their 2017 What’s Right with the Region Award. College Kids was honored in the category of Demonstrating Innovative Solutions.

Treasurer Jones launched the College Kids program in 2015. Every kindergarten student in a city public school receives a savings account with $50 in seed money provided by the Treasurer’s office. Family deposits are matched 1:1 up to $100 per academic year. Students can also earn incentives for good attendance and for their family members participating in financial empowerment education courses.

There are currently 6,300 students at 65 city public schools enrolled in College Kids. A total of $443,451 has been saved in the accounts so far, with $10,584 being deposited by the families of the College Kids.

College Kids and the other awards recipients were honored at a ceremony on May 11.

 


Taking Financial Empowerment to the Community

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The OFE is now offering financial empowerment classes at various community locations, including Kingdom House, the Monsanto YMCA and Barnes-Jewish Hospital.

Class topics have included budgeting, student loan forgiveness, purchasing a home, negotiating a car loan, preventing elderly fraud abuse, and how to purchase life insurance. View photos from our recent classes.

If we can offer a financial empowerment class or presentation at your office, neighborhood meeting, or other organization, please contact us at (314) 622-4700.

 


Client Spotlight: Shari Mooney

  

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Shari Mooney considers herself to have an advanced degree in finance, thanks to the classes offered at OFE.

Mooney, who works in the City’s Planning and Urban Design department, started attending OFE Lunch and Learn classes in 2014, using what she’s learned to improve her financial situation. READ MORE

 


Another Successful Family Savings Night

 

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College Kids and 1st Financial Federal Credit Union hosted the last Family Savings Night of the school year on May 16. To date, 174 families have deposited more than $5,000 of their own money into their College Kids’ savings accounts during Family Savings Nights!

Family Saving Nights are offered to College Kids and their families several times during the school year. Children and parents enjoy an evening of pizza and activities, while making deposits into their college savings accounts and learning more about the program.

College Kids who attend Family Savings Nights receive a $20 scholarship from 1st Financial to be deposited into their saving accounts. View photos from Family Savings Night on May 16.

 


Save the Date: College Kids Fundraising Campaign

  

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Missed Family Savings Night but still want to help send St. Louis children to college? Mark your calendars for the week of June 12, as we plan to raise money that week for College Kids. More details will be shared soon via the OFE social media accounts.

 


Your Money, Your Goals

  

Join the OFE for June’s Your Money Your Goals class on debt. Presenter Erin Thiemann will discuss “good” debt versus “bad” debt, and how debt can work both for and against you.

All College Kids parents who attend the class will receive a $5 deposit into their child’s college savings account.

 


Support the OFE

  

The Office of Financial Empowerment could not be possible without unique partnerships crossing all sections of financial education, banking, nonprofit and philanthropy. To get involved with the OFE please contact us at 314-622-4700 or email gatesL@stlouis-mo.gov

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