For the past 18 years, the month of April has been designated as National Financial Literacy Month, highlighting the importance of financial education for all. Many organizations use this time to focus on teaching smart money habits that can help everyone become more financially secure.
Along those lines, BayCoast Bank has announced a series of grants to strengthen education and financial literacy on the South Coast.
“Our communities can become stronger with a workforce educated about money,” said Lucia Rebelo, who serves as BayCoast Bank’s first-ever Financial Literacy Education Officer. “Education provides empowerment for today, and a strong foundation for everyone’s future.”
Helping student parents achieve educational, career and financial success is the goal of the Parenting Advancement Pathway (PAP) program at Fall River’s Bristol Community College. BayCoast Bank provided a vital $20,000 grant to support the program, which offers critical assistance to low-income and first-generation student parents in their pursuit of a degree, which can lead to secure employment opportunities. PAP helps participants in several key areas: family stability and well-being, financial and career management, as well as academic support; all important for economic self-sufficiency.
“Two members of our BayCoast family also volunteer their services as professional mentors for the program,” notes Evelyn Ranone, Vice President Community Development and DEI. “They provide experience-based encouragement and guidance, which helps participants stay on track.”
New Bedford’s Discovery Language Academy received a $10,000 grant for its Adult English Language Program, which assists immigrants as they work to improve English fluency. Educational programs that strengthen language skills can open the doors to new career pathways, leading to personal and financial achievements
In partnership with Citizens for Citizens and its Head Start and Early Head Start programs, Fall River’s Ser-Jobs for Progress approached BayCoast Bank for a $10,000 grant to help provide English language training to non-English speaking parents of children enrolled in Head Start. Raising literacy skills is critical for low-income immigrant parents, giving them an opportunity to obtain reliable employment, with the goal of breaking the cycle of poverty.
The fourth grant was awarded to Operation Stand Down Rhode Island, which aims to end veteran homelessness. Every year, the nonprofit organization dedicates a special weekend to provide thousands of veterans with free access to essential services, including healthcare, employment services, housing assistance, clothing, and meals. BayCoast Bank provided support as a meal sponsor.
The bank provided financial education through the FDIC Money Smart program, which offers learning modules covering a wide range of financial topics, including basic banking skills, debt consolidation, credit-building, and the essentials of lending.
“Education and financial literacy go hand-in-hand,” said Nicole Almeida, SVP and Chief Diversity Officer for BayCoast Bank. “We have the tools and the resources to engage and teach anyone these life-changing financial skills. Whatever our communities need, we work hard every day to provide a solution.”