Center for Financial and Economic Education – News

JP MORGAN CHASE RENEWS FUNDING FOR WESTCHESTER COMMUNITY COLLEGE FINANCIAL EDUCATION SERVICES WITH A $150,000 GRANT

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(left to right): Teresita Wisell, Director, Gateway Center at Westchester Community College; Suzanne Matthews, Director, Center for Financial and Economic Education at Westchester Community College; Eve Larner, Vice President, External Affairs at Westchester Community College, Executive Director of the Westchester Community College Foundation; Bob Como, Senior Vice President, Business Banking, Chase; Ed Muendell, Senior Vice President, Government Banking, JPMorgan; Cathie Schaffer, Senior Vice President, Middle Market Banking, Chase.

The Westchester Community College Center for Financial and Economic Education (CFEE) has received renewed grant funding from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation. This grant support for the upcoming fall semester, in the amount of $150,000, will enable the CFEE to expand its diverse initiatives to provide personal finance training and education to the student population, faculty members and staff, and the community at large.

The activities funded by this grant will include financial education sessions targeted to a broad array of young adults on the campus, students with financial and academic needs, and students in the English Language Institute. The grant will also allow the CFEE to expand the range of programs offered to Westchester residents and to continue to grow partnerships with other community organizations involved in financial education.

“We are deeply grateful to JPMorgan Chase for continuing to provide critical support to build and expand the CFEE, which, in turn, is committed to offering urgently-needed personal finance training and resources to our campus community,” says Dr. Joseph Hankin, president of Westchester Community College.

With initial grant funding from JPMorgan Chase Foundation, the CFEE was launched in May 2011, to serve as a platform for personal finance education in the County by providing the framework and leadership for programs that assist young adults, families and individuals better manage their financial lives.

“Nothing is more important than helping individuals in our community to become more informed about managing their everyday financial decisions,” says Bob Como, head of Chase Business Banking in Westchester County, northern New York, and Connecticut. “JPMorgan Chase is very pleased to enable Westchester Community College to carry out programs that are so essential to college students and adults of all ages and to support initiatives that help to drive positive economic outcomes for Westchester residents,” he adds.

During its first year, the CFEE introduced a variety of noncredit workshops and classes that covered different aspects of personal financial management. Sessions were also targeted to students involved in programs such as TRIO (a Federally-funded program for disadvantaged students) and the Educational Opportunity Program, as well as those involved in College Success, a skill-building course for incoming college students.

According to Suzanne Matthews, director of the CFEE, “Our program responds to the fact that the large majority of our students and residents of Westchester County have never had access to effective financial education. We are very pleased that in the past year we’ve been able to lay the groundwork for carrying out our mission of bringing professional resources to the community and making money management tools more accessible to individual students and adults.”

Through various student organizations and academic programs, the CFEE delivered sessions to over 800 students on core financial topics such as credit, debt, saving, and investing. Matthews further adds that “In the coming year we hope to significantly increase that number, thanks to the support we have received from Chase.”

The CFEE has been actively involved in promoting financial education in the county by helping to form the Westchester Financial Education Alliance, a group of four organizations including the United Way of Westchester and Putnam, the Financial Planning Association of the Greater Hudson Valley, and GreenPath, Inc. One of the events sponsored by the Alliance was Financial Education Day held at the Gateway Center at the college in March of 2012. This half-day financial conference was open to the public and offered free financial workshops, one-on-one counseling and a well-known keynote speaker, Jean Chatzky. This successful event attracted over 250 participants, including college alumni, residents of the county, students, faculty, and financial professionals. The CFEE is involved in planning similar events in the coming year.

For more information about the Center or the Chase grant, please contact Suzanne Matthews by phone at 914-606-5627 or connect with her via email at Suzanne.matthews@sunywcc.edu.