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Bank of America Charitable Foundation Grants Goodwill $4,000 for Financial Literacy Program

Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina has received a $4,000 grant from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation to support a financial literacy education program in southeastern Winston-Salem.

The Only Way to Go financial literacy initiative, offered at Goodwill’s Prosperity Center at 508 Waughtown Street, addresses the need for financial literacy and competency education by residents of the 8-census tract target area in the same neighborhood as the center.

“Bank of America’s support will allow Goodwill to continue offering financial literacy as key component of its family strengthening and stability mission service,” said Sherry Carpenter, Goodwill’s vice president for workforce development services.

The Only Way to Go program provides weekly one-hour classes over five weeks that focus on the following issues:

•    Understanding one’s relationship to money
•    Learning to read, discuss and communicate about personal financial issues
•    Gaining knowledge of banking and credit, and practicing money management
•    Understanding the need for financial protection against unforeseen emergencies, to plan for major life events, and to save and invest for the future
•    Becoming a life-long learner who applies knowledge to new financial situations

To receive a Certificate of Financial Competency, a participant must complete four of five one-hour classes over five weeks. Following the completion of the Only Way to Go program, Prosperity Center staff will meet with former program participants at three- and six-month intervals to assess their employment and financial situations. As needed, Prosperity Center staff will provide such financial assistance as helping establish a budget, reviewing a credit report, and reviewing debt to income ratio and making recommendations for improvement.

The grant award is part of the Bank of America Charitable Foundation’s focus on connecting individuals to education and job training, which includes support for programs providing ongoing financial education and coaching to empower adults to make healthy financial choices that will lead them to economic success.

Greg Cox, senior vice president at Bank of America in Winston-Salem, confirmed the bank’s commitment to local communities, saying, “At Bank of America, we’re working to connect communities to better economic futures by taking a comprehensive approach to a wide range of needs related to workforce development and education, community development and basic human services. Our partnership with Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina is one of the ways we’re working to improve the communities we serve.”