The need for programs that advance financial education and financial action stems largely from the extremely low U.S. saving rate (-1%), and the failure of most Americans to have assets to fall back on for emergencies and retirement. Because Arizona ranks among the worst in the nation in numerous areas (37th for the percentage of people in poverty, 43rd for homeownership, 49th for high school dropouts), the need to improve the financial condition of Arizonans is particularly acute. The financial burdens many Arizonans face contributes to poverty, homelessness, hunger, and crime, all of which negatively affect the entire community. Arizona Saves strives to improve Arizonans' ability to build sustainable financial self-sufficiency through education, saving and asset building, reduced spending, and debt reduction. Our Arizona Kids Save program addresses the concern that of Arizonans with children under 18 years of age, over 18% have incomes below 100% of poverty level. In addition, the number one reason teens are dropping out of college is excessive consumer debt. By bringing financial education to our kids, we can help them overcome the cycle of poverty and build secure futures.
Impact Summary from the Nonprofit In 2008, we more than doubled the size of our staff as well as the number of people attending our financial eduction workshops. Nearly 2,500 people attended 186 workshops taught by 75 volunteers. The number of participants who enrolled to become "Arizona Savers" was 412. We hosted 10 training events attended by over 200 volunteers. Our volunteers committed 1,670 hours of volunteer service to the organization, representing $34,700 in valuable in-kind service. The Crisis Budget Program was launched as a response to the forelcosure crisis in partnership with HUD-certified counseling agencies, government agencies, faith-based organizations and non-profit partners. We trained 40 volunteers who provided education to over 500 people facing foreclosure in the Phoenix metropolitan area. In 2009, our goal is to expand partnerships to provide more workshops in East Phoenix, Pima County and Yavapai County. Our patnership with city-based Family Self-Sufficience (FSS) programs are assisting us in tracking outcomes for families who attend financial education. Our goal is to provide outcomes that correlate to attending financial education. With assistance from certified financial planners, we will begin offering a basic "Investing" curriculum targeted to low- to moderate-income families who are eager to climb the ladder from emergency savings to building wealth and assets.
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