Comerica Bank, City of Dallas, Big Thought and Project Still I Rise, Inc. Partnering to Bestow the Gift of Knowledge Upon Local Youth

The cohort, powered by Grow South, has a goal of fiscally empowering 1,000 low-to-moderate income students this summer.

Apr 26, 2017

DALLAS, TEXAS (APRIL 26, 2017) Comerica Bank’s financial education program, the Gift of Knowledge, is expanding its reach through a partnership with the City of Dallas and two local nonprofits, Big Thought and Project Still I Rise, Inc.  It was announced today, that this collaborative is joining forces to provide financial education to 1,000 Dallas low-to-moderate income students. 

“I could not think of a better way to close out Financial Literacy Month than with the announcement of this unprecedented partnership,” Irvin Ashford, Jr., Comerica Bank Senior Vice President / National Director of Financial Education said.  “At Comerica, we have a long history of investing in the communities we serve.  We concentrate a significant amount of our community reinvestment dollars and employee volun­teerism efforts on helping empower today’s youth to become good financial stewards through a variety of hands-on financial education programs.  And, we are delighted we’ll have the opportunity to make a bigger impact with the help of our partners at the City of Dallas, Big Thought and Project Still I Rise.”  

The cohort leadership team, which consists of Ashford and Peter Sefzik, Texas Market President, of Comerica Bank;  Project Still I Rise Executive Director Kevin Mondy; Big Thought Senior Manager of Partner Relations Kristina Dove along with City Council Members Casey Thomas, II (District 3); Carolyn Arnold King (District 4); Mayor Pro Tem Monica R. Alonzo (District 6); Tiffinni A. Young (District 7); and Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Erik Wilson (District 8), have formed an innovative public-private partnership to teach the importance of financial education to youth this summer. Dallas has the worst childhood poverty rate of the country's 10 biggest cities. While there are many strategies that can be implemented to deal with these alarming numbers, this collaborative has developed an initiative that will allow students to receive high-end and engaging financial literacy training and the opportunity to open their first savings account at Comerica Bank. The Gift of Knowledge participants also will have access to bank personnel and the opportunity to tour Comerica banking centers.

Access to bank accounts and other appropriate financial products is a key way of providing youth with the experience and education that leads to improved financial outcomes. When offered in combination with a youth-focused financial education curriculum delivered by trained staff, financial access tools and programming are showing some promising results, and maintaining youth engagement and encouraging students to save.

Last December, 100 Dallas students from Project Still I Rise completed the inaugural Comerica Gift of Knowledge program.  Project Still I Rise and Comerica have worked collaboratively to empower today’s youth for tomorrow’s opportunities for more than a decade.

For further information: Carmen Branch: 214.462.6681; crbranch@comerica.com


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