Financial Literacy Program Empowers Students in Aurora

APLD Foundation board members bring financial literacy to Aurora teens with help from AWE Foundation grant.

Financial literacy is a key component to breaking the cycle of poverty in every city. To that end, the Aurora Public Library District Foundation hosted 12 students from School District 129 in Aurora for a one-day seminar in Financial Literacy funded by a grant from the Aurora Women’s Empowerment (AWE) Foundation.

The Seminar was developed and led by two women in banking: Mireya Luna, who is employed by the First National Bank of Omaha (FNBO) and has served as a community mortgage lender for more than four years. Before taking on her role at FNBO, Mireya worked for the nonprofit, Family Focus, in community support services; and Nisha Floyd, Community Development Relationship Manager at Woodforest National Bank. Her territory covers Illinois, Indiana and North Carolina, and it is her job to ensure that where their banks are located, their employees are involved in the community.  Both women also serve on the Board of Directors of the APLD Foundation.

Luna and Floyd are partnering with the Aurora Public Library District Foundation to offer Financial Literacy training workshops for girls ages 16 to 19. These workshops are funded by a grant from the AWE Foundation for the purpose of making a lasting impact on young women and girls in at-risk demographic groups within Aurora.

These one-day seminars are intended to reach young females, from diverse backgrounds who may not have access to essential information about finance, budgeting, building credit, home ownership and other topics; information that will allow them to achieve their financial goals and grow as productive members of the community.

Terri Shepard, a teacher at East Aurora High School in District 129, is a teacher/leader for  the school’s Empowered Women of the Future Club, was pleased to partner with the APLD Library to bring this information to 12 teenage students who attended the Seminar on May 4th.

Shepard said, “The students loved all the interactions in the classes, getting up, working together, money activities, and discussions.  They were so happy to get information from the two bankers as reliable sources.”

Shepard said all 12 of the students “expressed a positive reaction” to the financial workshop which included a tour of the library, lunch, snacks, and giveaway gifts from the library and the banks.

“All the basic money information shared was vital to being empowered and successful in life.  They really enjoyed learning about credit cards and how to establish credit,” Shepard said.

Laura Stoney, Manager of the APLD Foundation, said the library will continue to offer the program throughout the year.

“We hope to expand the program to other high schools and groups that cater to young women in vulnerable financial positions,” Stoney said.