On May 5, "FDIC- Money Smart Day" was proclaimed in Honolulu by Mayor Mufi Hannemann. Honolulu is proud to be one of the FDIC's first Money Smart partners in Hawaii through its Family Self – Sufficiency program, Hannemann said. "We join with other partners to make the program more accessible to our residents in underserved communities across the state," he added.
Money Smart has been modified in Hawaii to be culturally sensitive and relevant to the Native Hawaiian community. "The FDIC is deeply honored by the Mayor's recognition of our Money Smart program and our asset-building efforts in Hawaii," said John F. Carter, FDIC San Francisco Regional Director for the Division of Supervision and Consumer Protection. "Our success is only possible because of the commitment and vision of our Money Smart Alliance partners in Hawaii."
More than 50 Native Hawaiian families have attended homeownership classes using Money Smart since the program was introduced in 2001. The Money Smart Alliance in Hawaii has grown to include partners ranging from federal, state and county governments (including the state's Adult Education Program) to banks, credit unions and community groups.
Key Money Smart partners recognized in the ceremony included U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka; the Department of Housing and Urban Development; the Internal Revenue Service; Hickam Air Force Base Family Support Center; Central Pacific Bank; First Hawaiian Bank; the Hawaii Division of Financial Institutions; the Hawaii National Guard; and the University of Hawaii Cooperative Extension Program.
MainStream Reaching Los Angeles' Hispanic Community with Money Smart
MainStream, whose primary mission is to provide economic education to underserved low-income families and individuals, has provided financial education to over 800 low- to moderate- income families in Los Angeles since its creation in 2003.
MainStream is designed to provide trainers, curricula, unique teaching methods and materials to teach students who do not understand fundamental financial concepts because they have limited language and literacy skills, lack access to banking, or mistrust the banking system.
Although MainStream uses a variety of curricula, Money Smart in Spanish is the most widely used. Money Smart classes also have been taught throughout the county in English and Korean by trainers and volunteer bankers. Assessments of MainStream students before and after the Money Smart course show an average increase of 30 percent in their understanding of financial concepts and knowledge. The majority of participants are enrolled in Individual Development Account programs (administered by the United Way in Los Angeles) that require financial education as part of their matched savings programs.