ATLANTA, Nov. 19, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Operation HOPE announced that it was selected by the City of Atlanta as its non-profit partner to manage the newly established Child Savings Account Program for thousands of qualifying kindergarten students from Atlanta Public Schools (APS). The program helps advance the mission of Operation HOPE and the heart of the Financial Literacy for All (FL4A) movement, which seeks to integrate financial literacy into every part of American life, particularly among underserved communities.
With an aim at increasing children's financial literacy and prospects for higher education, this new program will give students from low-income households in Atlanta—who are just beginning their academic journey— a head start in building a healthy college fund by making an initial $50 deposit into an academic-expense savings account. The account has the potential to grow through additional deposits over the life of the child's academic journey. Championed by Mayor Keisha Lance-Bottoms, and approved by Atlanta City Council, the city will donate $2 million to Operation HOPE to help facilitate the initiative.
With the guidance and support of financial education programs, including Operation HOPE's student-focused program Banking on Our Future, the accounts will be managed by the student and parent over time. In addition to the initial deposit, families will be supported with individualized financial wellness coaching from Operation HOPE's team of experts at no cost. Each account has the potential to grow through additional deposits over the life of the child's academic journey.
"Through this innovative partnership with the City of Atlanta and Mayor Keisha Lance-Bottoms, we're planting the financial literacy flag for every child in Atlanta Public Schools," said Operation HOPE Founder, Chairman, and CEO John Hope Bryant. "If ever you wanted to know how to transform entire communities, we can start by 'delivering the memo' on how the free enterprise system works to our children. The ultimate goal is to build lasting generational wealth that changes lives. Operation HOPE is proud and honored to establish such a groundbreaking initiative."
"The Child Savings Account Program is an investment in our children, their families and the future of our city," said Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. "I made this commitment during my campaign and am grateful to have it delivered to families across Atlanta. By establishing long-term savings accounts for kindergarteners, our administration is helping to bolster the trajectory of students who are in most need of financial support to pursue their dreams of higher education."
For nearly 30 years, Operation HOPE has been at the forefront of transformational change regarding financial literacy and empowering the underserved. In 2009, Operation HOPE was responsible for financial literacy becoming official federal policy under former President George W. Bush. In the earliest stages of the global pandemic and national unrest, HOPE's Chairman Bryant released the New Marshall Plan, which influenced and inspired government leaders from the local municipalities to the highest offices of the federal government.
"Initiatives like these help our city's children take a step in the right direction financially, empowers them to make quality choices about their future when the time comes, and enables them to have hands-on learning with their financial literacy education," Bryant added. "We look forward to seeing the long-term outcomes and encourage other cities across the nation to follow Atlanta's lead by giving our children a pathway to financial success."
The program launch also coincides with World Children's Day, which celebrates the well-being of children everywhere. Celebrated annually on November 20th, World Children's Day commemorates the 1959 adoption of the Declaration of the Rights of the Child by the United Nations General Assembly.
About Operation HOPE, Inc.
Since 1992, Operation HOPE has been moving America from civil rights to "silver rights" with the mission of making free enterprise and capitalism work for the underserved—disrupting poverty for millions of low and moderate-income youth and adults across the nation. Through its community uplift model, HOPE Inside, which received the 2016 Innovator of the Year recognition by American Banker magazine, Operation HOPE has served more than 4 million individuals and directed more than $3.2 billion in economic activity into disenfranchised communities—turning check-cashing customers into banking customers, renters into homeowners, small business dreamers into small business owners, minimum wage workers into living wage consumers, and uncertain disaster victims into financially empowered disaster survivors. For more information: www.OperationHOPE.org. Follow the HOPE conversation on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Kevin Boucher, Chief Advocacy Officer
SOURCE Operation HOPE, Inc.