April was Financial Literacy Month, and Hope through Housing and U.S. Bank celebrated the occasion by offering financial literacy workshops to hundreds of affordable housing residents across Southern California.

Throughout the month, Hope through Housing brought in U.S. Bank volunteers to host 18 free workshops at dozens of National CORE affordable housing communities in Fontana, Rancho Cucamonga, Corona, San Bernardino, Montclair, Cathedral City, Alta Loma, and Pomona. The hour-long workshops, including sessions led in Spanish, offered valuable tips on saving, preparing for unexpected expenses, preventing identity theft, and building smart financial habits.

U.S. Bank employees targeted workshops to specialized audiences. Sessions on avoiding identity theft were intended for seniors, while workshops on the basic principles of personal finance were offered to teens.

A teen workshop at Sunset Heights in Alta Loma focused on building sustainable savings habits from a young age, teaching through discussions and activities the importance of saving for “rainy days” and unexpected expenses.

“In life, unexpected things are going to happen, right?” U.S. Bank Market and Community Engagement Coordinator Jillian Fowler, a key organizer for the workshops, shared with the room full of teens. “So, what we should take from that is we need to expect that there’s going to be something unexpected that’s going to happen to us. It could be a good thing like going to a party and needing to buy a gift. Or it can be something not so good like a broken car, maybe a pet is sick and needs to go to the vet – things like that.”

Another lesson Fowler and U.S. Bank District Manager Mike Kuhn taught the teens was how to break down their financial goals into smaller pieces and how helpful it can be to tackle problems by writing them out in front of you.

“If you’re sitting out there thinking that you want a specific career, and it’s out of grasp, you have to break it up in smaller pieces,” Kuhn said at the workshop. “It’s the same thing with savings. If you want to have some money, and you want to make sure that you have some security, you’ve got to break it up a little bit in increments, or you’re just going to be lost.”

To bring out more teens to the important session, Hope through Housing Services Coordinator Stephanie Joseph organized a pizza party, complete with a video game truck that teens could use after attending the workshop.

“We are grateful to the team at U.S. Bank for volunteering their time and expertise throughout Financial Literacy Month to share important tips for managing finances effectively,” said Hope through Housing President Greg Bradbard. “As Hope through Housing continues to work with residents of affordable housing to achieve economic empowerment, U.S. Bank’s consistent partnership and volunteering helps us increase our impact.”

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