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CEO Update: July 22, 2021

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Financial Empowerment: The Key to Economic Independence

Hello Friends,

CEO Update 7.22.21

Today, I am pleased to share an update with you from our Certified Financial Empowerment Educator/Coach, Deborah DeSousa. Through classes and workshops for adults, youth and teens as well as individual coaching session, Deborah strives to help survivors of domestic abuse and sexual assault achieve financial independence with a life of freedom and very importantly—choice. Deborah also works with community partners and schools to help at-risk and young people gain the skills necessary for financial independence.

A note from Deborah:
A client reached out to me about her interest in our financial empowerment program, as it was a program her mother had completed. This particular client, we will call her Amanda to protect her privacy, was still a senior in high school and very motivated to become more involved in understanding her finances and being prepared for her future after high school. She was able to complete the financial empowerment program virtually as, in addition to school, she was also working two part-time jobs. Amanda had a wonderfully positive attitude, brought great questions to class and continued her engagement following the end of coursework with financial coaching.

In our additional financial coaching sessions, we completed her 2020 income tax return. Even though she wasn’t required to file, she was still very interested in completing the process to better understand preparation for future years. Amanda talked me through how she budgets, as well as how much she tries to save each month. She was even able to open up a small credit card through her credit union in order to help her establish credit. A few months after class, she sent me an email with an update on her status. I was so pleased to see how motivated she was moving forward in her journey after high school.

“Hi Ms. DeSousa,
My name is *Amanda. We last met a couple of months ago when I took your financial course. I wanted to reach back out and update you on some pretty exciting news!

One of my greatest financial concerns right now is the cost of college. Just a few weeks ago, I was accepted to ABC College! I was thrilled to have been selected but I also felt hopeless because I knew how expensive the bill would be. I made an appointment with a financial aid representative and she told me that they had decided to meet 100% of my demonstrated financial need!! I have attached the award letter here so that you can check it out. I am in complete shock over the generosity of the college and this incredible opportunity that finally feels attainable.

I also wanted to thank you for your insight and encouragement. I have carried a lot of the financial strategies and habits that we discussed with me these past few months and it has been super helpful. Thank you so much for your help. I will reach out in the future when I can.

Thank you for all you do to help support the WCA and all of our clients of all ages throughout the community.

With gratitude,

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