To develop programs aimed at transferring financial literacy skills to economically challenged adults in the New York City area.
The committee began by working with a local community group to provide financial education to their members. It has grown by extending it’s reach to women’s organizations, beginning with Nontraditional Employment for Women (NEW) and extending now to the Grace Institute for women’s education. It has also expanded by increasing its membership from the FWA. With more women involved, it can serve more organizations and bring the depth of experience representative of the FWA membership.
The Financial Literacy Committee offers a 7 week program to the organizations it serves. The program is run as a 90 minute class, once a week. The topics covered are
- Getting Organized and Budgeting
- Getting Out of Debt and Understanding the Use of Credit
- Investments – Part 1 and
- Investments – Part 2.
The committee co-chairs work with the organizations to confirm their commitment for the program. A team of two FWA committee members is assigned to each session. FWA committee members interested in teaching a class are asked to observe the class to get an understanding of the content and type of questions asked by the participants. In addition, there are other responsibilities required to recruit the teachers for each session and ensure that the materials are kept up to date.
The program is run twice a year in the fall and spring for one organization. In addition to the classes, a concluding event is held. At this event, a certificate of achievement is given to all participants who attend 6 out of the 7 classes.
Committee Meeting Schedule
Meetings are scheduled before the start of each 7-week program to get organized and plan participation from the committee members.
Message from the Co-chairs
The Financial Literacy Committee offers members of the FWA an opportunity to share their knowledge and skills with women who are struggling to improve their lives. Many of these women are coming off of public assistance and entering the workforce for the first time, with newly acquired professional skills to help them succeed. It is a very rewarding experience to be able to help someone by enhancing their education with financial knowledge.
- Ann Diamond and Mimi Carroll
Recent Event Highlight
The program was instituted in 2004, and this year marks the 5th year with NEW and the 3rd year with Grace Institute. Each year we identify a few initiatives to improve the program. This year, the initiatives covered the course materials and the depth of our teaching roster.
The success of the committee’s work can be seen through the graduates of the program. Each class includes about 30 women who graduate with a better understanding of their personal finances and an understanding of the impact of their decisions on how they use credit, select benefits, pay taxes and save for the future.
View from a Committee Member
“It is hard to appreciate the challenges the women in these programs face until you work directly with them on financial literacy. By helping them make better financial decisions, we are helping not only the women in the program, but also their extended families.” - Committee Member 2010