Fall 2008 MoneyWi$e trainings leave wide national footprint

Published: Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Consumer Action trainers Sol Carbonell and Nelson Santiago traveled up and down the coast during October, providing MoneyWi$e financial literacy trainings to community-based organizations. Phoenix, Arizona, Portland, Maine, and Durham, North Carolina all played host to day-long trainings on timely topics such as buying a home, filing for bankruptcy, and re-building credit.

In Phoenix, Carbonell and Santiago returned to Desert Schools Federal Credit Union (DSFCU) at the behest of Trianna Oglivie, the organization’s Community Education Specialist, to train DSFCU’s community partners. Topics included senior scams, identity theft, banking basics, and buying a home. The home-buying session allowed for an especially important discussion regarding the rise in foreclosures in the area. During this session, Carbonell shared with participants the results of the latest Arizona State of Housing report. Emma García, Director of Community Development for DSFCU, along with staff from the loss mitigation department, offered their insight on how to assist troubled homeowners and discussed local and statewide efforts to prevent foreclosures.

The visit to land of the lobsters was a first in Consumer Action’s training history. The United Way of Portland, Maine organized the training for local CBO’s after participating in a MoneyWi$e/NCRC webinar given by Carbonell earlier this year. The training was held at the beautiful facilities of the Casey Family Services Center.

The MoneyWi$e modules presented included Banking Basics, Building and Rebuilding Credit, Identity Theft, and Tracking Your Money. During a tour of the Casey Family Services Center, social worker Florence Young highlighted the Center’s efforts to combat poverty and homelessness. Bringing people together to exchange information and learn about new materials are key to addressing some of the challenges that Maine currently faces.

North Carolina is rapidly becoming a favorite spot for Consumer Action train-the-trainer events. The Durham training, hosted by the North Carolina Institute for Minority Economic Development (the Institute), included key topics such as Bankruptcy, Micro-business, Building and Rebuilding Credit, and Teens & Money. Host La-Tasha Best-Gaddy provided a special treat for community groups during one of the breaks. She took everyone on a tour of the resource center she created to showcase Consumer Action’s publications and related materials.

“You’ve got to put a system in place,” she told the attendees, explaining how to make good use of limited space while maximizing the delivery of information to clients. During the Micro-business session, Carbonell led a lively discussion about the challenges small business owners are facing in the economic crisis. Participants offered ideas on assessing future success for a small or micro business and exchanged information on local resources available to entrepreneurs.



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