Fifth Third Bank, YES Indy Partner to Provide Financial Education to Indy Youth
Central Indiana is home to over 30,000 Opportunity Youth– young adults, ages 16 to 24, who have disengaged from secondary education or are disconnected from the workforce upon graduation. Basic financial education is a need that often goes unmet for this group of individuals, making progress and stability difficult for themselves and their families. Due to being disengaged and disconnected, accessing basic financial education is often difficult or sometimes impossible.
Thanks to a partnership between Fifth Third Bank and YES Indy, however, Opportunity Youth now have an avenue through which they can access basic financial education, by participating in the YES Indy Power Huddle program. In efforts to re-engage Marion County’s Opportunity Youth and create a positive trajectory for these young people, EmployIndy launched YES Indy REC in 2018. Shortly thereafter, the Power Huddle, a two-week job readiness experience that helps Opportunity Youth get connected and improve their daily mindsets, was launched as the forward-facing program of YES Indy REC.
The Power Huddle supports overall YES Indy efforts by teaching young people ways in which they can change their future trajectory as well as engage in a variety of employability skills that will help them map out and work towards reaching their academic, career, and life goals. With a growing inventory of both experience and participation, the YES Indy team sought to expand the Power Huddle curriculum to include additional pillars of comprehensive wellness. The two-week intensive is already designed to focus on mindfulness, character, purpose, resilience, visioning, time management, work ethic, and learning strategies, but financial education as a key component of sustainable livelihood was missing.
To address the need for financial education within this population, YES Indy’s Power Huddle was financially assisted by the Fifth Third Foundation through a grant award in partnership with EmployIndy. This investment will allow YES Indy to integrate Fifth Third Bank’s Financial Education for High School course into our Power Huddle programming. Additionally, participants without a High School Diploma or Equivalency will go through High School Equivalency/Adult Basic Education courses.
“Fifth Third Bank is excited to partner with EmployIndy and integrate the Bank’s financial education for high school students through their Power Huddle program. We are committed to deepening the financial resources and education throughout the communities in which we live and serve, and EmployIndy is a great partner in making this vision come to life.” said Nashelle Frazier, Community and Economic Development Manager at Fifth Third.
In September of 2021, the Power Huddle incorporated a new program practitioner, Tawnya McCrary, a consultant with Training for Success, LLC., who has numerous years of experience in working with Opportunity Youth. Fifth Third Bank’s investment will allow the Power Huddle service provider to add one part-time employee, a Financial Education Coordinator, to facilitate the course as well as identify participants who will benefit from this opportunity and connect them to enrollment. Funding will be utilized to provide a $200 Earn ‘n’ Learn stipend as an incentive for each individual who completes the Power Huddle successfully, and an additional $100 deposit for completing the Financial Academy course.
Based on a Power Huddle cohort from 2019, the goals of implementing this grant from Fifth Third Bank are as follows:
- Out of the 60 Opportunity Youth participants enrolled in this experience. . .
- 75% will complete Power Huddle and Job Ready Indy Badges (45 Opportunity Youth participants)
- 50% will gain skills in basic reading and math (30 Opportunity Youth participants)
- 25% will earn a High School Equivalency credential (15 Opportunity Youth participants)
- 75% will complete Financial Literacy Education (45 Opportunity Youth participants)
- 75% of participants without a bank account will create one (45 Opportunity Youth participants)
The project will immediately be implemented from the award date for 12 months, from November 1, 2021, to October 31, 2022. During this grant period, 6 cohorts of 10 students (60 participants total) will attend Power Huddle sessions, with each cohort lasting two weeks, Monday through Friday. Short-term outcomes include Opportunity Youth gaining knowledge of financial wellness, improved workplace readiness skills, and barriers reduced to education and employment. The long-term impact of this programming includes a positive youth trajectory, a better workforce ecosystem, and a reduction in the regional poverty rate.
The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent those of the Fifth Third Foundation.