Operation HOPE and one of its associates, Regions Bank, have announced plans to expand their partnership and create 100 HOPE Inside empowerment centers over the next four years across the Midwest and Southeast regions.
With two locations already in Omaha, Nebraska, these empowerment centers work with select banking branches that provide Operation HOPE with workspace to offer free programs to individuals in need of financial education. The classes are taught by financial coaches provided by Operation HOPE to teach individuals how to boost their financial management skills.
Much of the class criteria touches on principles covered in my book, “Cash in With Your Money: Tools for a Better Financial Life.” In LeRoc’s book, he provides readers with the resources to budget and stay financially informed. He shares how to become financially literate, get out of debt, save money and accomplish important financial objectives. LeRoc stresses that knowing the difference between your “wants” and your “needs” is vital for financial responsibility.
The free educational programs help participants build a plan to achieve their financial goals. The program also covers homeownership, helps individuals understand the need for credit and provides information on how to boost their credit score.
The mission of Operation HOPE is silver rights empowerment, making free enterprise work for everyone. They accomplish this through their work on the ground as the nonprofit private banker for the working poor, the underserved and struggling middle class. Operation HOPE says it is able to achieve their mission by being the best-in-class provider of financial literacy empowerment for youth, financial capability for communities and financial dignity for all.
The nonprofit organization was founded in 1992. And since then, they have served more than 2.5 million individuals and have directed more than $1.8 billion in private capital to America’s low-wealth communities. They currently serve more than 300 U.S. cities, as well as South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates. Their work impacting the community hasn’t gone unnoticed. In 2016, the nonprofit won the Innovator of the Year Award, presented by American Banker magazine.
Operation HOPE isn’t limited to the audiences they educate. The nonprofit’s Banking on Our Future financial education program focuses on keeping the most at-risk youth from repeating the cycles of poverty and despair that have trapped so many in their families and communities by teaching the value of money and importance of credit.
The classes are free of charge for schools and communities, targeting youth ages 10 to 20. The program has reached more than 896,000 students in more than 3,250 schools and community-based organizations in the U.S. and South Africa. Banking on Our Future has been recognized for their work, receiving the U.S. Treasury Department’s John Sherman Award for Excellence in Financial Education and the Oprah’s Angel Network Use Your Life Award.