California Foundation Fund Welcomes Boar Member Dan Stracener, Vice President & District Manager of Wells Fargo Bank

SAN DIEGO, CA. February 1, 2015 – The California Foundation Fund appointed a new board member, Dan Stracener, VP & District Manager of Wells Fargo Bank.

danswellsfargoDan Stracener is the Vice President and District Manager for the San Diego Southeast Market. His area of responsibility extends from Bonita to Downtown, to Point Loma and to the Sports Arena. He is responsible for 11 stores totaling $1.1 billion in assets with 152 team members.

As a local resident, Stracener recently served on the Chula Vista Hills School board and the South Bay YMCA board. “Since the Foundation’s inception, Wells Fargo has participated as a substantial partner. Dan brings great leadership qualities that will contribute considerably to the Foundation’s mission to help our communities prosper.” Says Miguel D. Vasquez, Chair of the California Foundation Fund.

About the California Foundation Fund
The California Foundation Fund (CAFF) at Alliant International University is an independent non-profit corporation whose mission is to break the cycle of poverty for the State’s low-income population. CAFF’s team of executives in educational management, behavioral science, research and financial industries develop and execute a narrow set of high impact and replicable linked learning programs within culturally similar communities. CAFF fosters collaboration between community-based organizations and education institutions to execute, improve and track financial empowerment efforts. For more information on the California Foundation Fund or to make a gift to the Annual Futureboss Program, visit www.cafoundationfund.org or contact the Foundation Office at 619.800.0145.

About Wells Fargo Bank
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a nationwide, diversified financial services company with $1.6 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 8,700 locations, more than 12,500 ATMs, online (wellsfargo.com), and mobile devices.

Wells Fargo Bank is headquartered in San Francisco. Wells Fargo has more than 265,000 team members in 36 countries across our approximately 90 businesses.

At the end of third quarter 2014, Wells Fargo ranked fourth in assets among U.S. banks and was the world’s most valuable bank by market capitalization. In 2013, Euromoney named Wells Fargo “Best Bank” in its Global Awards for Excellence, the first time a U.S.-based bank has won the top award. The Chronicle of Philanthropy ranked Wells Fargo’s corporate giving in the top two among all U.S. companies each of the past two years.

FUTUREBOSS 2014

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The California Foundation Fund will hold its annual Futureboss Inaugural Event on Monday, April 7th at the San Diego Gas & Electric Innovation Center, and the celebration will extend beyond the usual festivities.

To attend the Inaugural register at http://futureboss.eventbrite.com

Foundation leaders set a high fund drive goal and challenged devotees to join the celebration by supporting the youth entrepreneurial training and student competition, which was created to help high school students learn leadership and business management skills.

2014 FINALISTS
Diana Bice
Tania Fuerte
Ana Vidales-Castro
Amber Escobar
Jocelyne Rodriguez
Steven Canales
Silvia Solorio
Daxx Leon
Gerardo Marquillo
Eric Aguilar
Hanna Tolfo
Lumy Amador
Xenya Suarez
Guadalupe Magallanes
Tanya Suarez
Miguel Mercado
Steve Vargas
Jacob Santo
Kane Gillego
An Nguyen
Cathy Joy
Sonia Ricca
Jaylon Davis
Ashley Hernandez
India Subers
Ezequiel Moreno-Leon
Jose Chavez
Jose Lopez
Karen Rodriguez
Kimberly Beltran

The Futureboss Program, chaired by Ron Morrison, Mayor of National City, and organized by the Foundation’s youth entrepreneurship community council, is a collaborative effort between Alliant International University, Wells Fargo Bank, the Walmart Foundation, Neighborhood National Bank the California Foundation Fund, and twenty local organizations.

“We understand entrepreneurial education in preparing individuals for success,” said Mayor Morrison. He added, “This program identifies entrepreneurial minded students through an integrate network of business and non-profit collaborative. This year marks a new level of engagement for the Program as more than 400 high school seniors applied to compete.”

The Futureboss Program will be taught by senior faculty of the School of Management. Students will participate in the program’s academic components, develop a viable business idea and turn it into a business plan, which will be presented to a panel of judges. Three winners will be awarded a scholarship and an iPad. The winning student will receive this year’s Ernst & Young Youth Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

For more information on the California Foundation Fund or to make a gift to the Annual Futureboss Program, visit www.cafoundationfund.org/donate or contact the Foundation Office at 619.800.0145.

 

About Alliant International University

Alliant International University is a WASC accredited private, non-profit university that emphasizes the practical application of theory and research to prepare students for professional careers in psychology and mental health, education, business and management, international affairs, forensic studies and law. Created in 2001 by the merger of two legacy institutions, its combined institutional history in higher education dates back over 100 years. Headquartered in San Diego and San Francisco, Alliant has additional campuses in Los Angeles, Irvine, Fresno, Sacramento and Mexico City with accredited programs in Hong Kong and Tokyo. For more details, visit www.Alliant.edu.

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Media Contact:

Diálogo Public Relations

Alice Gomez
858-461-1970
alice@dialogo.us

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 Giving in California

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 Causes worth supporting

Californians are number one in the nation for giving. Every year-end non-profits send out letters, envelopes and pledge requests asking to help them fulfill great missions. The work of solving critical humanitarian problems seems infinite and troubling. The pleads for donations are made to pluck at donors’ consciousness via heart-wrenching stories. Implied in some of these requests is that people are suffering due to environmental, economic or political struggles. In other words, the impact of people’s choices or the planet’s harshness cause sufferings.

Charity or Generosity

Part of the solution to overcoming hardships is charity. Giving time, talent or treasures to alleviate poverty. Charity towards dire and unlivable conditions can produce immediate and life-saving support. Generosity is different. It is a lasting conscious that creates humanitarian collaboratives. A generous society is understanding and caring about its impact and harmonizes living with life. Educators give in generous quantities with their patient lessons. Doctors generously provide care aimed to improve the quality of people’s lives. Charity is great for immediate life saving crises. However, a life with generosity creates sustainability.

Philanthropy or Social Entrepreneurship

In 2008 Californians donated a total of $17.2-billion with the median contribution of $2,396 from income earners with an average salary of $54,030. This equals to 4.4% of their income. There are many stories of people who have the bandwidth to give back. This philanthropic value comes from people of all ages, races and educational levels. Donors are not all affluent professionals. Younger and less educated Californians give more. Many professionals use their corporate leadership to respond to philanthropy. The model of personal or corporate responsibility is terrific yet unsustainable. Responding to an infinite and growing level of poverty cannot be resolved with philanthropy alone. Charitable organizations that rely on limited grants and donations are depending on the profitability and capacity of income earners. True models of scalable income are within the for-profit world. Business models have margins of profit that allows for infinite scalability. Socially conscious leaders are using these business models to solve critical humanitarian problems while making a profit.

Alleviating Poverty or Breaking the Cycle of Poverty.

Poverty can be reduced or temporarily stopped within the current model of charitable giving. To eradicate poverty, we must wisely choose where we give our time, talent and treasures. Giving to those that give back is not enough. We must seek ways to break the cycle of poverty through conscious efforts of empowerment.

Source: The Chronicles of Philanthropy.

 

2013 YEPS award recipents
2013 YEPS award recipients

2013 FUTUREBOSS AWARDS

The California Foundation Fund hosted their annual Youth Entrepreneurship Scholarship Award Ceremony at Alliant International University on August 7th, 2013. This event was a time for the donors, scholarship recipients, faculty/staff, family, and friends to come together to recognize the achievements of the recipients and to thank the supporters for their generosity. This level of competition between the students was fierce. The scholarship committee reviewed an especially qualified pool of over 100 applicants this year, which made the process quite competitive. In attendance were our partners and sponsors such as SDG&E, Wells Fargo, Ernst & Young, the Mayor of National City, Mexican Consul of San Diego, Alliant Faculty, and the parents and recipients of the scholarship.

Ron Morrison, Mayor of National City, served as our keynote speaker and provided an insightful and motivational speech.

2013 YEPS recipients: Bethany Shedrick and Stafani Tellez
2013 YEPS recipients: Bethany Shedrick and Stafani Tellez

The event honored the following 2013 award recipients:

First: Bethany Shedrick | High Tech High

Second: Lauren Benites | Sweetwater High

Third: Stefanie Tellez | Otay Ranch High

Each recipient was awarded a scholarship of up to $1,000 and an iPad.  In addition, the winner was recognized as the Ernst & Young Youth Entrepreneur of the Year.  All participating students received prizes, mentorship and job opportunities from corporate sponsors.  We would like thank our sponsors, parents, staff, and participants for their contributions and hard work. Congratulations to all the recipients!  Highs school seniors are encouraged to visit futureboss.org to see more information and submit an essay application.

The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Program takes place in more than 50 countries around the world.  It has become the hallmark for success for recognizing entrepreneurs.  On June 13, 2013 the California Foundation Fund and Ernst & Young Collaborated to recognize an inspirational young entrepreneur and winner of this year’s San Diego County Youth Entrepreneurship Scholarship Competition.  1st place Bethany Shedrick of High Tech High brightened the stage along a group incredibly passionate CEOs.  Bethany’s winning business plan was based on a consumer apparel company Bco. Her business concept was unique in that it included giving back 20% of the company’s profits to help educate under-resourced communities.

“Where sporty and sophisticated, embrace’s indigenous and Aboriginal inspired handbags for Woman between the ages of 25-45. BCo. is an aspiring Avant-Garde brand which appeals to those professionals who seek a timeless look and a splash of color and pattern to their conservative attire.”

The winners of this year’s award were:

Youth Entrepreneur category:

Bethany Shedrick, CEO
Bco., Chula Vista

Business Services category:

Kim Reed Perell, CEO
Adconion Direct, San Diego

Technology category:

Tom Tullie, CEO & Chairman of the Board
ecoATM, San Diego

Consumer Products & Services category:

Gary Rayner, CEO
LifeProof, San Diego

Life Sciences category:

Gerald Proehl, President & CEO
Santarus, Inc., San Diego

Medical Products & Services category:

Mary Fisher, CEO
SkinMedica, Carlsbad

Family Business category:

Kelly Grismer, President and Chad Grismer, CEO
The Wheat Group Inc., San Diego

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On May 25th, a gathering of 400 including faculty, administrators, students, friends and their families welcomed the chairman of the California Foundation Fund, Miguel Vasquez, at the University of San Diego for their 18th annual Chicano/Latino commencement ceremony. Miguel was the Alumni Speaker at the USD United Front/Multicultural Center. The following speech was given by Miguel Vasquez to help guide and inspire the graduating class of 2013. First majoring in visual arts, Miguel completed his bachelors in business administration from USD in 1994.

It was an honor to be selected and be accompanied by Miguel Vasquezthe Foundation’s team and supporters. It is my hope that USD continues this great tradition and seeks to help more Latinos take the path of higher education and leadership. – Miguel D. Vasquez, chairman

COMMENCEMENT SPEECH

Thank you very much for the generous introduction. I am honored to be back on the campus of my Alma Mater. Good evening class of 2013; parents, grandparents, relatives, friends, teachers, and administrators.

I want to especially thank the USD United Front/Multicultural Center, the Latino/Chicano graduation co-chairs, Angelica Leyva and Estefania Cabrera for inviting me to join you today.

Everyone knows the University of San Diego is more than an awe-inspiring campus on the hill. It is more than a center for education; it establishes a foundation for individual and personal hope. Moreover, it is unique in that “educators on this hill” create caring leaders. I began my educational journey at USD and thanks to the knowledge, skills, and values I learned here, it continues to grow.

I am proud of being a USD Alumni and I am honored that USD staff recognized my success as its success. A few years ago, I was sitting where you are now. I was eager to conquer the business world. I was tired of only reading and discussing. In 1994 we were in the middle of what was one of the largest recessions. It would not fade me because I felt unstoppable. I was on fire.

I want to share what life has taught me. Hopefully, you will use my experiences to help you in your journey. There are many lessons I learned, but today I want to address the five key elements of success:

One: Choose your passion.

Two: Accept who you are.

Three: Continuously learn.

Four: Work rigorously.

Five: Most importantly never, ever, give up.

Choose and follow your passion because you will choose what you do for the next 25 years. Do what you love and it will reward you in ways you will not imagine. Do more than maintaining a dream job. Grow, create and lead others to their dream jobs.

Accept who you are to realize how far you are from your goals. Even if your efforts seem small recognize that small steps will sum up to great accomplishments.

Make learning a journey. Learn your culture is your greatest asset. It will help you understand your values and your purpose.

Work rigorously to outdo yourself. Every day is an opportunity to work harder and serve others.

Never ever give up as you will fail many times. When you fail, learn and keep moving forward.

CHART YOUR JOURNEY

When I graduated, I thought I needed to find the highest paying job. I wanted to use my newly earned USD diploma to gain a place in society. I zigzagged across the country from New Jersey, Minnesota, Texas and California. Then, I worked internationally on projects from Mexico, Argentina, and Germany. Most astonishing to me was how I was raising millions in corporate revenues and spending millions too. I managed one of the largest banks in the west coast with millions of dollars in assets. I dinned with millionaires and world leaders. However, I did not recognize who I was or what I wanted to become.

ACCEPT WHO YOU ARE

I am an immigrant from Mexico, a dairy farmer and an economic refugee. Like many immigrant children, I lived unaware of my poverty. My toys were broken brooms and the dirt roads were my playgrounds. Every summer I stayed at the family farm. I learned that work started at five and ended when the sun would set. Life’s challenges started early. My father died when I was 40 days old. In the seventies, my widowed mother immigrated our family. At age sixteen, I was ousted from my home. On my own I graduated from high school to become an auto mechanic. After losing my eyesight for several weeks in a shop accident, I went back to school. With hard work, the help of many educators, a 4.0 GPA, and some luck, I landed at USD. My educational journey took off on this campus. A journey that would help me understand what really matters.

CULTURE IS YOUR GREATEST ASSET

My culture has helped me appreciate others, to be understanding and share our strengths. There are many from all walks of life driven towards common goals, with compassions and a drive to make our communities open towards inclusiveness and equality.

Our environment consists of the multicultural kinships and diverse relationships; they are life’s greatest gifts. You do not need to accept the values of others to know that everyone’s imperfect life is meaningful. Everyone stumbles with ignorance, flaws and weaknesses. They are our opportunities to do good for others and improve ourselves. The largest part of our wealth is our cultural differences and the values that we share in common.

Lets understand this about our diverse cultures; due to the advocacy of so many trailblazers, now more than ever, when we show up to work, or in our communities, we are seen as significant people, able to contribute and needed for our communities to thrive. Your backgrounds, cultures, languages, and intellect will serve you well. Never forget what has been accomplished and never allow the progress of empowerment to be undermined. You are our new leaders that will protect this progress and are responsible for the growth of our future. Use your culture to reveal your strengths and determine your purpose.

GIVE PURPOSE TO YOUR LIFE

Purpose is an emotional strength and emotional intelligence that helps you understand what really matters. This emotional wisdom will help you reach your fulfillment. It will convert you into an effective and caring leader. You will realize what really matters in your life.

After I graduated from USD, It took me 20 years of accomplishments to realize what matters. Accomplishments alone, regardless of how significant, will not get you to your ultimate potential. It is your purpose not your accomplishments that will fulfill your life.

My accomplishments could have been meaningful if they were supportive of a humanitarian cause. If they had a purpose and were my causes and not incentivized goals. I asked, if I am unknown to myself; who is it that created my dreams? My largest failure was living in the dreams of others’ and living up to their expectation. My purpose has been to serve, to collaborate and bring people together to do good.

WORKING HARD TO SERVE OTHERS

I knew my USD education would serve me, what I needed to learn was how I would serve others. It took hard work to understand and be understanding. I could not have realized my accomplishments and found success without hard work. Finally, I recognized that serving others is a privilege that gives purpose to my life.

The five elements of success; passionate goals, self-acceptance, a life of learning, working harder than yourself, and never giving up, will yield success. They will yield confidence towards selfless growth, kind leadership, and a life with purpose.

NEVER EVER GIVE UP

Remember, only those that fail to learn from failure, fail. My failures were simply temporary setbacks that helped me understand what is truly important.

I failed as a farmer, as an auto mechanic, as a banker and as a cook. Ask my wife and she will agree, I cannot cook. I have lost hundreds of thousands in personal wealth and millions in corporate projects. From my failures I have learned to embrace and value knowledge. Most importantly, I learned not to fear failing. That sense of confidence and assertiveness is my success.

To be fearless you must never let go of the inner strength that has gotten you this far. You must know your emotional limitations. In your strength you will recognize that service is a privilege. Our ability to confidently serve will lead to the opportunities that will enrich and fulfill our lives. And that, my fellow Toreros, is what really matters. Fulfillment. A life with purpose.

FOUNDATION

Today, the corporation that I founded, the California Foundation Fund, is helping break the cycle of poverty and helping people prosper. With the collaboration of magnificent educators, community leaders, volunteers and corporate supporters, we created sustainable, culturally competent, financial education programs across the state. Poverty is a manmade phenomena; an injustice that can be broken through empowerment. We recognize empowerment through education is the key to many of our societal problems. No one can force, or even lead another to improve. Our aim is to help others self-discover their full potential. Everyone is in a constant and unstoppable path towards change. You are not the same person you were when you graduated from high school. You are not the same person who entered the room earlier today. It is our choices towards self-improvement that will convert our changes into growth. It has been your choice to learn, grow, earn a university degree and now seek a purposeful life serving others.

FAREWELL

I applaud you for reaching the great milestone of graduation. After today, your life will start anew, but not for the last time. It will be one of many meaningful periods in your life. It is your choice in values and character that will decide your dreams, how you use your talents, and whose lives you will improve. I urge you to realize your full potential and live a determined, meaningful life with purpose. I want to thank the University of San Diego for instilling this great value and thank all of you for your dedication to continue your educational journey of community, justice and inclusion. I am certain many of you will humbly accept your new challenges and seek the courage to fail as part of your educational success. I am hopeful that you will learn to listen to your dreams and not those of others. I know you will use your wealth of knowledge and culture to help our great communities. I leave you with one of Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s shortest and most memorable speeches, he said, “Remember, Never give up. Never give up, Never.” Good luck class of 2013. God bless and thank you.

YEPS – The International Youth Entrepreneurship Scholarship Competition

Community leaders and supporters gathered to congratulate participants and winners of this year’s International Youth Entrepreneurship Scholarship competition on April 27, 2013, www.futureboss.org.

 

During the closing ceremony these three winning high school students were awarded a scholarship from $250 to $1,000 and an iPad.

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Winners of the International Youth Entrepreneurship Competition

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1st place Bethany Shedrick, High Tech High

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2nd place Lauren Benites, Sweetwater High

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3rd place Stefanie Tellez, Otay Ranch High

More than 100 applications were submitted of which 31 student were accepted to learn and compete. The intense nature of the academic classes provided a challenge for some as only 21 participants completed the course.

As an added bonus, each student who finished the competition won more than an opportunity to experience a university campus and education in entrepreneurship.
Thanks to the support of title sponsor Wells Fargo Bank and Ernesto Arredondo, San Diego Area President of Wells Fargo, the 21 competing students were offered a personal mentorship from Arredondo along with interview training and access to job opportunities with Wells Fargo.

“This is a great opportunity that we hope many of our young entrepreneurs will take advantage of upon graduation.” says Miguel Vasquez, Chairman of the California Foundation Fund.

 

As part of Wells Fargo’s ongoing support of team members’ career development, Wells Fargo offers tuition reimbursement to eligible regular and part-time employees. This benefit includes tuition reimbursement of $5,000 for regular team members and $2,500 for part-time team members. In 2012, the tuition reimbursement program helped more than 8,000 eligible team members subsidize their education costs toward career-related classes and degrees totaling $25 million.

 

“It was a very gratifying experience serving as a judge for our future entrepreneurs and I was truly impressed by the caliber of the student’s presentations,” said Arredondo. “In an effort to help these students with their upcoming college expenses, I encourage all of them to apply for employment with Wells Fargo, as we are hiring and offer flexible schedules tailored for college students. In addition, we offer great benefits to our team members including the tuition reimbursement program.”

 

The young entrepreneurship program is part of the annual Financial Education Week coordinated by the Mexican Consul of San Diego, the Mayor’s office of National City, the Mayor’s office of Chula Vista, San Diego County Office of Education, Alliant International University and International Center for Trade Development. Additional supporters included San Diego Gas and Electric, Point Loma County Credit Union, ClearPoint Credit Counselors, Neighborhood National Bank, and Procopio.

 

“Partnering with the California Foundation Fund helps Alliant fulfill its mission of community engagement. The program prepares our next generation of leaders to build businesses and increase job opportunities in our community. They have received a great wealth of business skills and many life skills that will help them succeed in life,” says Dr. Guadalupe Corona, systemwide director at Alliant. Alliant International University hosted the three-day mini course in entrepreneurship. Five senior professors provided the knowledge students used to create and present their business plans.

 

About Alliant International University
Alliant International University is a WASC accredited private, non-profit university that emphasizes the practical application of theory and research to prepare students for professional careers in psychology and mental health, education, business and management, forensic studies and law. Created in 2001 by the merger of two legacy institutions, its combined institutional history in higher education dates back more than 100 years. Headquartered in San Diego and San Francisco, Alliant has additional campuses in Los Angeles, Irvine, Fresno, Sacramento and Mexico City with accredited programs in Hong Kong and Tokyo. For more details, visit www.Alliant.edu.

 

About the California Foundation Fund
The California Foundation Fund (CAFF), is an independent non-profit corporation whose mission is to break the cycle of poverty for the State’s low-income population. CAFF’s team of executives in educational management, behavioral science, research and financial industries develop and execute a narrow set of high impact and replicable financial education programs within culturally similar communities. CAFF provides financial educators the tools and training required to deliver personal finance and business management instruction. CAFF fosters collaboration between community based organizations and education institutions to improve and track financial literacy efforts. CAFF’s current programs in financial capacity research, youth entrepreneurship and financial literacy instructor certification were created with the support and supervision of the California Financial Site Council (CFSC). CFSC is a standards board created by CAFF to help expand and enhance financial literacy. For more details, visit www.cafoundationfund.org.
Media Contact:
Jeremiah Jimeno
Communications Director
619.800.0145

The Financial Education Week’s
International Youth Entrepreneurship Competition
at Alliant International University
in San Diego

These eager and willing students have big dreams and want to become our future leaders and successful business owners. University professors from Alliant will teach 18 hours of entrepreneurship classes covering everything from social media to accounting.
Special guest speakers such as Martha Mendez from Union Bank, Iliana Aguilar from Wells Fargo, Eddie Landeros from CDC Small Business Finance and Valery Belloso from ACCION San Diego will share their knowledge.
These ten honorary judges will select this year’s three best business plan presentations to award students a scholarship.

Gabriel Reyes | Business Advisor | Center for International Trade Development
Valery Belloso | ACCION San Diego | Business Development Officer
Maria (Socorro Velarde) Kachadoorian | City of Chula Vista | Finance Director/Treasurer
Ernesto Arredondo | Wells Fargo Bank | Regional President
Luisa McCarthy | Director | La Vista Memorial Park
Zulema Maldonado | Board Chamber of Commerce Chula Vista and Realtor
Miguel Angel Ma | Owner | the Steakhouse on Broadway
Andy Carey | Executive Director | US Mexico Border Philanthropy Partnership
Josie Calderon | CEO | JLC Consultant Services and MABPA
Juan Carlos Lopez | Owner | Rincón del Mar Restaurants

31 honor students
8 county high schools
5 university professors
1 week of :

EMPOWERMENT

2013 PARTICIPANTS

Brandon Plascencia
Alfredo Mendez
Bethany Shedrick
Stefanie Tellez
Irma Rodriguez
Aaron Vongsa
Alfredo Perez
Bernie Reyes
Christina Guerrero
David Peña
Deon Standridge
Jessica Vargas
Jesus Rocha
Jonabella Gacusan
Jose Diaz
Lauren Benites
Maira Crespo
Marissa Ramos
Martin Tejeda
Maverick Sison
Nallely Aceves
Orlando Chairez
Pedro Aleman
Roberto Ortiz
Rosina Baltazar
Shashu Mesfin
Tracy Yang
Vivian Gomez
Ytzayana Comorlinga
Alexia Robledo
Ana Elias

“These young entrepreneurs will take part of a university mini course to help them understand their strengths and fortify their dreams for making a better life.”

Miguel Vasquez, Chairman of the California Foundation Fund

Inspiring Future Leaders

Special thanks to our Title Sponsor, Wells Fargo Bank.
Any part of this article may be used freely with the condition that the California Foundation Fund be credited.

San Diego, Calif. – April 24, 2013 – The California Foundation fund at Alliant International University will host a three-day entrepreneurial training and student competition, the International Youth Entrepreneurship Program – Synthesized (YEPS), April 24nd -26th of 2013 at Alliant International University San Diego Campus.

donate

30 high school students will be selected

Open to all San Diego High School Seniors

Learn why it pays to be your own boss!

The Youth Entrepreneurship Program – Synthesized [YEPS] is a project based entrepreneurial training and student competition. YEPS is designed for high school seniors to learn how to turn their interest and hobbies into a profitable business venture.

Professors from Alliant International University teach students a variety of relevant business practices focusing on aspects such as:

  • Establishing entrepreneurial goals
  • Understanding leadership roles
  • Professional networking
  • Business plan development
  • Making public presentations

YEPS curriculum focuses on two critical components – leadership and entrepreneurship training. During the leadership development portion of the training, students must assess and evaluate their level of commitment, discipline and personal values in relation to achieving success in life and business.

As students go through the academic components, they develop a viable business idea and business plan which is presented to a panel of judges. Winning students will be awarded a scholarship, iPad tablet and are invited to participate in the YEPS business implementation phase. This phase mentors students to help them start and manage their business venture.

YEPS is a free program that helps students develop ethical business values while providing a channel to help entrepreneurs start a business.

About Alliant International University
Alliant International University is a WASC accredited private, non-profit university that emphasizes the practical application of theory and research to prepare students for professional careers in psychology and mental health, education, business and management, international affairs, forensic studies and law. Created in 2001 by the merger of two legacy institutions, its combined institutional history in higher education dates back over 100 years. Headquartered in San Diego and San Francisco, Alliant has additional campuses in Los Angeles, Irvine, Fresno, Sacramento and Mexico City with accredited programs in Hong Kong and Tokyo. For more details, visit www.Alliant.edu.

About the California Foundation Fund
The California Foundation Fund (CAFF), is an independent non-profit corporation who’s mission is to break the cycle of poverty for the State’s low-income population. CAFF’s team of executives in educational management, behavioral science, research and financial industries develop and execute a narrow set of high impact and replicable financial education programs within culturally similar communities. CAFF provides financial educators the tools and training required to deliver personal finance and business management instruction. CAFF fosters collaboration between community based organizations and education institutions to improve and track financial literacy efforts. CAFF’s current programs in financial capacity research, youth entrepreneurship and financial literacy instructor certification were created with the support and supervision of the California Financial Curriculum Council (CFCC). CFCC is a standards board created by CAFF to help expand and enhance financial literacy.

Media Contact:
Madeleine Wiener
858-635-4885
mwiener@alliant.edu
Chief Marketing Officer

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Calexico, Calif. – February 22, 2013 – The California Foundation fund at Alliant International University hosted a two-day entrepreneurial training and student competition, the Calexico Youth Entrepreneurship Program – Synthesized (YEPS) [https://www.cafoundationfund.org/YEPS], February 22nd and 23rd of 2013 at the San Diego State Imperial Valley campus.

YEPS is a unique program that targets high school seniors who are identified through an application process as promising young entrepreneurs. The program and its curriculum, created by The California Foundation Fund, is taught by senior faculty of the School of Management, [http://www.alliant.edu/asm/] focusing on two critical components – leadership and entrepreneurship training.

Students participated in the program’s academic components, developed a viable business idea and turned it into a business plan, which they presented to a panel of judges. Three winners will be awarded a scholarship. They will also be invited to continue on to the YEPS implementation phase where they will be mentored to help them launch and manage their business venture.

The program is sponsored by Wells Fargo Bank along with multiple non-profits and local volunteers. “Wells Fargo understands the central role of education in preparing individuals for success in the workplace,” said Joe Mishriki, Wells Fargo’s Desert Border Area President. “Providing high quality educational opportunities to previously underserved communities, like Calexico is part of our commitment to the region we serve, and supporting the California Foundation Fund fits nicely into this effort.”

YEPS is the result of a collaborative effort between Alliant International University [http://www.alliant.edu], Calexico High School, Wells Fargo Bank, the California Foundation Fund [https://www.cafoundationfund.org/], and California Centers for International Trade Development.

About Alliant International University
Alliant International University is a WASC accredited private, non-profit university that emphasizes the practical application of theory and research to prepare students for professional careers in psychology and mental health, education, business and management, international affairs, forensic studies and law. Created in 2001 by the merger of two legacy institutions, its combined institutional history in higher education dates back over 100 years. Headquartered in San Diego and San Francisco, Alliant has additional campuses in Los Angeles, Irvine, Fresno, Sacramento and Mexico City with accredited programs in Hong Kong and Tokyo. For more details, visit www.Alliant.edu.

About the California Foundation Fund
The California Foundation Fund (CAFF), is an independent non-profit corporation who’s mission is to break the cycle of poverty for the State’s low-income population. CAFF’s team of executives in educational management, behavioral science, research and financial industries develop and execute a narrow set of high impact and replicable financial education programs within culturally similar communities. CAFF provides financial educators the tools and training required to deliver personal finance and business management instruction. CAFF fosters collaboration between community based organizations and education institutions to improve and track financial literacy efforts. CAFF’s current programs in financial capacity research, youth entrepreneurship and financial literacy instructor certification were created with the support and supervision of the California Financial Curriculum Council (CFCC). CFCC is a standards board created by CAFF to help expand and enhance financial literacy.

Media Contact:
Madeleine Wiener
858-635-4885
mwiener@alliant.edu
Chief Marketing Officer

The Financial Education Week’s
Futureboss competition
at Alliant International University
in San Diego

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28 high school honor students
11 county high schools
5 university professors
1 week of :

EMPOWERMENT

2012 WINNERS

1st: Raul Escobar
The Charter School of San Diego
2nd: Brandon Hernandez
Sweetwater High School
3rd: Sam Wisotsky
High Tech High School
4th: Ian Larson (tied)
Patrick Henry High School
4th: Mariana Meneses (tied)
Olympian High School

 

These young entrepreneurs were unaware that week would help them understand their strengths and fortify their dreams for making a better life.

Growing numbers of college graduates are opting to start a business venture after graduation. Studies show that up to 35% of graduates are taking the risks and rewards of business ownership. The US Small Business Administration agency has indicated a majority of start-up businesses will fail within the first two years. The reasons vary from lack of capital, cash flow errors, not understanding the industry and most importantly from a lack of desire.
The lack of desire was not one of the deficits from a group of twenty eight students that attended the Financial Education Week’s International Youth Entrepreneurship Scholarship Competition at Alliant International University. (The Financial Education Week is a community based service and a vision of the Mexican Consul of San Diego and Mayor Ron Morrison of the City of National City.)
These eager and willing students were excused for three days from high school to learn, at a university level, how to become better leaders and successful business owners. Five university professors from Alliant taught 18 hours of business administration lessons in everything from social media to accounting. Eleven San Diego County Schools participated in this widely promoted event.
The event was promoted through 17 radio interviews, 5 television interviews, 2 press releases, 1 press conference, 6 news articles, 4 Facebook pages, and hundreds of tweets. Every effort to get the word out was deployed. The San Diego County Office of Education, Sweetwater School District superintendent, principals, teachers, and counselors were recruited to make the public aware that this type of opportunity doesn’t come around every day.

Linda is Carmen Cifuentes daughter that attends Valley Center High School.

Special guest speakers such as Ruben Garcia from the US SBA, Ivan Sandoval from Wells Fargo and Alex Montoya from the San Diego Padres shared their knowledge. Alex Montoya and one of the youngest student, Linda, made a real impact on the entire event. Linda and Alex are both Colombian immigrants and faced with incredible challenges and opportunities. Many people know Alex’s story from his book, Swing for the Fences, and how he was born without arms and only one leg. It is also known how he has turned this challenge into an opportunity to do great things. What was not known was Linda’s story.
Not very long ago Linda was adopted and immigrated from Colombia. She is currently learning her environment and the English language. Linda is faced with a problem no one, much less a teenager, should face. Linda is being treated for cancer and has to make choices that are not common for a fifteen year old.
It was Linda’s wish to attend the Alliant International University Entrepreneurship Program and compete with high school seniors from 10 other San Diego county schools. Linda recruited her sister Raquel, a straight A student, to help her with this strenuous university level course that was taught in a language Linda did not fully comprehend.

Linda and Alex reminded me that life is full of opportunities and that we must connect with our strengths to never give up on who we are and what we want to become.

Linda and her sister have been molding their hobby of jewelry making into an entrepreneurial project. Even though these sisters were too young to take part of the awards competition, a special exception was made to allow Linda and Raquel to take part of every other aspect of the program. With this education, Linda hopes she and her sister will learn how to become successful entrepreneurs. Soon after attending the Youth Entrepreneurship Scholarship Competition, Linda’s story of strength and selflessness was told on TV. SEE More
The winner of the of the competition, Raul, has a story that is just as special. He was almost disqualified and just 3 years ago was deported from this country. Everyone should read his story and how he was apprehended by undercover border patrol agents and sent off to a country he had never lived in.

More: an absolutely true story of being deported at age 14.

Everyone that attended the competition learned a new life lesson. The students, staff, faculty and supporters demonstrated their commitment to our community and showed that it takes collaborative work to be successful.

Any part of this article may be used freely with the condition that the author Miguel Vasquez, CEO of the California Foundation Fund be credited.

30 HIGH SCHOOL HONOR STUDENTS
ALL COUNTY HIGH SCHOOLS
ALLIANT INT’L UNIVERSITY PROFESSORS
1 WEEK OF :

EMPOWERMENT

This program helps students understand their strengths and fortify their dreams for making a better life.

Growing numbers of college graduates are opting to start a business venture after graduation. Studies show that up to 35% of graduates are taking the risks and rewards of business ownership. The US Small Business Administration agency has indicated a majority of start-up businesses will fail within the first two years. The reasons vary from lack of capital, cash flow errors, not understanding the industry and most importantly from a lack of desire.

The lack of desire is not one of the deficits from regional high school seniors that attend the Youth Entrepreneurship Scholarship Competition at Alliant International University.

These eager and willing students were excused for three days from high school to learn, at a university level, how to become better leaders and successful business owners.  Five university professors from Alliant teach 18 hours of entrepreneurship lessons in everything subject from social media to accounting.  San Diego County Schools participate in this widely promoted event.

Linda and Alex reminded me that life is full of opportunities and that we must connect with our strengths to never give up on who we are and what we want to become.

Special guest speakers such as Ruben Garcia from the US SBA, Ivan Sandoval from Wells Fargo and Alex Montoya from the San Diego Padres shared their knowledge. Alex Montoya and one of the youngest student, Linda, made a real impact on the entire event. Linda and Alex are both Colombian immigrants and faced with incredible challenges and opportunities.  Many people know Alex’s story from his book, Swing for the Fences, and how he was born without arms and only one leg.  It is also known how he has turned this challenge into an opportunity to do great things.  What was not known was Linda’s story.

Not very long ago Linda was adopted and immigrated from Colombia.  She was currently learning her environment and the English language.  Linda was facing with a problem no one, much less a teenager, should face.  Linda was being treated for cancer and has to make choices that are not common for a fifteen year old.  It was Linda’s wish to attend the Alliant International University Entrepreneurship Program and compete with high school seniors from 10 other San Diego County schools.  Linda recruited her sister Raquel, a straight A student, to help her with this strenuous university level course that was taught in a language Linda did not fully comprehend.

Linda and her sister had been molding their hobby of jewelry making into an entrepreneurial project.  Even though these sisters were too young to take part of the awards competition, a special exception was made to allow Linda and Raquel to take part of every other aspect of the program.  With this education, Linda hoped she and her sister would learn how to become successful entrepreneurs. Soon after attending the Youth Entrepreneurship Scholarship Competition, Linda’s story of strength and selflessness was told on TV. SEE More

The winner of the of the competition, Raul, has a story that is just as special.  He was almost disqualified for not preparing his presentation in a simple PowerPoint presentation and just 3 years ago was deported from this country.  Everyone should read his story and how he was apprehended by undercover border patrol agents and sent off to a country he had never lived in.

More: an absolutely true story of being deported at age 14.

Everyone that attended the competition learned a new life lesson. The students, staff, faculty and supporters demonstrated their commitment to our community and showed that it takes collaborative work to be successful.

The best lessons that I ever learned about financial responsibility were from my Mom and Dad at the kitchen table. They taught me:

  • The value of money
  • How to spend wisely
  • How to save

Even though, I was taught these lessons in the late 1960s and 1970s; I firmly believe these are still valuable lessons that every kid must learn, if he or she is to be financially literate.

The Value of Money

I was taught at an early age that money doesn’t grow on trees. Nowadays, some kids seem to think that an infinite amount of money comes from ATMs. There is a story going around on the internet (probably an urban legend), about a young teenager who attacked an ATM when it wouldn’t give her any money, because there was no money left in her bank account. Little did she realize that the amount in her bank account was directly linked to the amount of money that she could withdraw from the ATM. She thought that the machine printed money and that she had an unending supply at her disposal. Obviously, she needs a lesson in the value of money!

The easiest way to teach your children about the value of money is to give them an allowance for chores performed around the house. By tying their allowance to their chores, you are teaching them that money is a means of rewarding people for the work that they perform.

Spending Wisely

Teaching a child how to spend his or her money has to be one of the most difficult things to do. For many of us, our first inclination is to tell the child what the money can or should be spent on. Try giving up that urge to control your child’s spending habits; your job is to guide your child in the decision making process. There will be times when your child will spend his or her money foolish, but treat that as a learning experience. Fight the urge to rescue your child – don’t give him or her more money; after all you don’t get extra money if you overspend.

Saving

Getting into the habit of saving money at an early age will pay off in the long run. I strongly suggest that you go to a bank with your child and open an account in his/her name. The idea behind this, is to teach your child to save for a rainy day. Too many adults have never gotten into this habit and unfortunately they find themselves living pay check to paycheck. Habits started at an early age often continue into adulthood, thus ensuring that your child will have some cash in the bank.

Bank accounts can also be used by your child to save for that special ‘something’ that he or she wants but doesn’t have the money for. Simply put, it teaches them not to be impulse buyers.

Many parents think that they have to be financial experts to teach their kids about money, but you don’t! Teaching your kid about money is all about common sense.

Learn how to teach your kids money management skills


(watch the video)


A special message for my banker friends

By Miguel Vasquez, CEO of the California Foundation Fund

I’ve asked many immigrants and working people if they prefer to be rich or wealthy.

Many don’t understand the question. Some tell me they prefer to be rich, they believe new wealth is unattainable or not possible. They understand financial wealth as a generational endowment that few people will ever experience. In addition, they remind me that life is unpredictable, “who wants to plan for a long-term strategy”. I don’t believe this to be completely true, however I have learned something from their answers. There is a distinct difference from those who are rich or wealthy. Comedian Chris Rock has it wrong when he says, “Shaq is rich, the..man that signs his check is wealthy”.
In my work, I encourage wealth creation, even if it means never becoming rich. Most people ask, how can this be possible? What is the difference between richness and wealth? Is it long-term planning, community planning, trust? In my experience, there is no one simple answer.

Those who are wealthy have the freedom to do as they please with their time.

Every prosperous decade, more workers find themselves making strives to enrich themselves and increase their income. Many people gaining excess income for the first time choose individualistic expressions of materialism (shop till you drop). This behavior is common in working and immigrant communities. With immigrants, the closer their non-American relatives live to them the more pressure they feel to express their financial accomplishments.
In my work, I’ve asked community members if they would prefer to be rich or wealthy. Many seem to be confused with the question. I’m usually asked to explain the difference. At times, I have given this simple definition. If you are rich, you make more income than you need to survive and have the opportunity to place your discretionary income into any place you want. If you are wealthy, you can make any level of income, but you don’t have to work to survive. Those who are wealthy have the freedom to do as they please with their time.
After clarifying my question, I find many responses surprising. Some feel their family and community gives them a greater type of wealth. Several cultures and traditions treat this type of wealth as a greater value. Their investment is their family and children, who will support them at an older age. When pressed to comment on the integration of their children into our modern American culture, they pause and complain. They feel their heirs might not have the same values. Many blame themselves for not being good mentors. Finally, many immigrants confess that if their plan for retirement fails in this country, they will move back to their homeland and retire were it is less expensive.
I remind them of their work, sacrifices and how their accomplishments would be better served if they created a foundation for the next generation. At this point, I really lose their interest. The prospect of enriching someone’s life to improve theirs is confusing. Yet, this is the way the rich became wealthy. Rich people are those with disposable income but not necessarily disposable time. Those that choose to invest in their future have wealth that is transferable. Richness cannot be transferred and it will go away once someone with a single source of work income stops working. Some rich people are a paycheck away from being poor.

Many who are wealthy have someone who will support them.

Financial hardships are a part of life for anyone who needs to work. Making financial choices may lead to losses. I talk to people about the need to build out a plan to be wealthy. The concept of retirement takes on a very crucial meaning for those who have lost their richness. There are many theories about how to build a wealth portfolio that will bring in passive income and allow the freedom of time. Many of today’s retires have a fixed and passive income that provides the freedom to pursue happiness. There are many examples of wealthy people who have their home paid, live without a car expense and have a monthly income of less than $1,000 per month. These are the people who rely on a fixed income which provide them with the freedom to spend the day as they wish. The hard part is that this theory takes time to materialize. However, planning and encouraging your children to honor and care for their parents also takes time. Both goals take planning and managing skills.In today’s financial reality, there is less discretionary income to invest. Pensions are being replaced with voluntary, non-matching, 401K’s. Where does that leave the current financial system if the new large majority of immigrants and new Era minorities will not invest and might leave during retirement. Today, many states with high costs of living are suffering from the exodus of the baby boomers. Imagine if this occurs throughout the country.The good thing about our current recession, is that we are thinking about money matters. It is during these opportune times when we should restrain from spending and execute on the long-term plan. Creating these behavioral changes can happen if we share our financial knowledge.
Any part of this article may be used freely with the condition that the author Miguel Vasquez, CEO of the California Foundation Fund be credited.
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Very often, young clients are under utilizing banking services and paying unnecessary fees. In many cases, individuals that mismanage their bank accounts will have fee after fee charged to their accounts until it dried up. Once their accounts become overdrawn, some will be turned over for collections and lose the ability to have an account with most financial institutions.

These are what the financial institutions call the unbankable. Typically, these customers are reported to agencies such as Chexsystems.  Banks have their own policy on how many years it will take to be permitted to re-open an account.

For young consumers, obtaining and managing credit is a large challenge. Young banking clients that mismanaged their credit are likely to lose access to jobs, low interest credit and housing. It is common for young adults to fail during the start of their credit history. For many, having a derogatory bank report is avoidable if they knew how to manage and prepare for financial situations. This type of education taught outside of one’s circle of influencers is called financial literacy.

Topics that are covered in financial literacy include planning, budgeting, credit utilization, credit scoring, savings, investments, taxes and business management. Many banks, government agencies and non-profit institutions play a vital role in conducting financial literacy courses. However, the amount of participants in these workshops are less than 1% of the total low and moderate income population.

Young adults beginning to own financial services are finding new alliances in colleges and vocational schools. Adding courses in personal finance and small business management is a new and practical way to earn school credits. This approach is preparing graduates to manage their financial future. Financial literacy in adult education settings are innovative ways to expand participation. Vocational schools and colleges instruct more adults than all banks, social workers, housing services and financial literacy instructors combined.

Certified Financial Educators are creating meaningful educational content required in financial literacy curriculum for young adults. Educators are delivering lessons with a motivational intent and helping students achieve useful learning outcomes. Unfortunately, not every student gets this type of education. Introducing financial literacy in adult education is challenging for many reasons. For starters, financial literacy instruction is not a common profession. Curriculum content is typically generic and contains information created from a financial institutions point of view.

The challenge of teaching a new generation in money management skills is daunting. For many young adults, the value of money has taken a new meaning. Cultural realities are different even within the same age groups. Financial literacy instructors have a lot to learn themselves in order to teach meaningful lessons.

As a bank manager, I saw the importance of teaching financial skills to young adults. The most successful in building credit, holding investments and responsible money management had guidance.

There is much at stake in this type of education. We have seen what occurs when communities fail to understand the implications of mismanaged finances. Thankfully, instructors and students are learning to communicate common money management values and preventing future disastrous consequences.

 

The Financial Knowledge Project was launched in April 2011 to help bring awareness to Financial Literacy Month and to study the attempts of financial educators who instruct the –
  • 46% who use little or no banking
  • 70% that live paycheck to paycheck
  • 21% who spend more than their income
  • 58% that lack a “rainy day” fund.
It is the intent of this Project to reveal the historical impact of the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act.  The Project explores how low and moderate income communities have been impacted by financial agencies’ and institutions’ attempts in financial education.  The Project views how non-profit organizations and colleges are attempting to prepare future workforces with personal financial competency.
Cultural relevancy in this project is the commonality of communities or sub groups.  The project explores how women and Latinos might learn or search for solutions.  The adaptation of activities in these communities should provide insight on how educators plan and execute toward learning outcomes.
Supporting agencies and institutions may use this project to ensure financial support and resources are implemented for the improvement and benefit of the public.  This project seeks to increase awareness of important and significant impacts of financial stresses in LMI communities to help protect and increase the vitality of the economy.
Download Report | The Financial Knowledge Project kicks off Financial Literacy Month.

  • 45% of the total U.S. Latino population are under-banked, meaning they have no bank account or made more than one non-bank financial transaction in the past 30 days.
  • Un-banked immigrants pay approximately $2 billion annually in fees to check cashers to access their hard- earned cash.
  • 22% of Latinos have no credit history, compared to 4% of whites and 3% of African-Americans which prevents them from accessing low-cost loans to purchase property, and are cut off from low-cost credit markets, forces them to high-cost predatory lenders.
Understanding the barriers of each community provides a cultural compass.  This project will seek to promote an understanding of community realities and financial challenges.  It seeks out opportunities to engage collaborators in financial literacy.

The increase in population occurred in almost every county in the state of California.  These results show California’s population is still growing. The largest percentage of ethnic growth was with Asians, Latinos, and Pacific Islanders.  Even though many think the Pacific is what lures people to the Golden State, the largest increase in populations occurred in central California.  Planning for the needs of these communities will task policy makers for many years to come.  Demand for resources in these communities will become evident as coalitions of community organizers start seeking infrastructural and financial services.  CAFF is looking forward to researching these communities’ financial needs to help educational institutions deliver financial solutions that are culturally relevant.

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Working Class | Common Class | Poor
What is it to be poor and why is there a cycle of poverty that commits generations of people into financial stress? In economics, the cycle of poverty is the “set of factors or events by which poverty, once started, is likely to continue unless there is outside intervention.” Poverty can harm economic growth, societal structures, political stability, democracy and civility. Unlike other world regions, in the United States, poverty is not complete destitution. In the United States, the normal categorization of economic groups has been defined as working poor, working class, middle class, affluent and wealthy. These self classifications seem to be a psychological method to control individuals anxiety regarding their wealth status. Realistically, over 90% of the wealth in this country is owned by those that are extremely wealthy. Here is the shocker, approximately 2% of the population is extremely wealthy. The majority of the US population participates in the acquisition and transfer of less than 10% of this country’s economic resources. So where does that leave the large numbers of working class people? More importantly, how do we use our numbers to break the cycle of poverty?

Common Labels | Common Grounds | Common Goals

In order to regain our social compass, we need to address the economic categorization of each other. Through a realistic acceptance we can encourage one another to respectfully work to normalize our communities. I suggest we assign a two segments of economic categorization. Either your wealthy or you are not. There is nothing wrong with achieving wealth. It should be encouraged and admired. But the same goes for those that are not wealthy. The respectful normalization of those who are not wealthy will take societal changes and a financial educational that help people realize and accept who they are. Once we realize our common and realistic situation, we can work towards a consensus on social goals. Most societal goals requires some behavioral changes, a mature community effort, and a willingness to learn.

Behavioral Change | Emotional | Passive
Behavioral research has determined that adults learn through cognitive reason and make routine choices based on emotional recognitions. For that reason, coaches are more successful than lecturers at motivating and achieving immediate efforts. However, long-term behavioral changes do not result from motivational coaches or lecturers. Individuals develop long-term habits passively and somewhat unconsciously. Habits occur through the repetition of stimulated activities. To better motivate long-term change we must not focus on the stimulus that makes us repeat activity. The behavioral change is the significant actions one repeats once placed in the same situation. The reason so many continue to drop in and out of poverty is because they continue to focus on the stimulus in their lives and not their passive decision making skills. In the field of financial self-sufficiency, financial coaches have helped make preventing poverty fun and passively obtain results. The goal is to help individuals learn to think critically and self discover solutions that make their lives better. Instead of focusing on how to make, save or invest money, financial coaches help people determine their own priorities and set a schedule that can be accomplished. These financial coaches work to help Americans acquire the information and gain the knowledge necessary to plan and take control of their finances. Through these methods individuals gain self-sufficiency and acquire the passive incomes nee ded for retirement.

Working | Economic |Self-Sufficiency
Today’s banking system has become more relevant and more complex in peoples everyday lives. Many seek financial advisers when they should be seeking financial coaches. In part, people have been taught to invest or save for retirement. Prior to this, individuals should be taught to not spend and understand what is wealth. Accumulating passive income is the goal of all who want to retire. Planing skills are essential to retirement even if the plan is never to retire. Budgeting is just one of many skills required in financial planning. Through a discipline of passive non-spending, we can learn to live comfortable lives and save without trying. I would encourage everyone to take at least one financial literacy course in their community. More importantly, you should encourage your friends to do this too.

Let’s be smart about our money management and teach others financial literacy so we don’t relive this economic storm. Economic difficulties or poverty is a simple problem with a difficult solution.  Can we prevent poverty from occurring or reoccurring? What preventative financial self-sufficiency initiatives can help jumpstart our economy, who are the key players, and how does financial literacy make a difference? Many know the definition of financial literacy. However, few know how to record results of its effects or how to track people’s improved financial choices to determine the success of money management workshops.

Financial literacy is the ability to understand money and how to manage it so that a person can make informed financial decisions. Financial literacy helps people save, better protect and manage their money, prepare for unexpected events, and plan for short- and long-term goals. So why doesn’t California have any current statewide standard for financial education in our public school system? Perhaps we need to re-brand financial literacy as the new way to live wealthy at any income level.  We should suggest financial literacy classes be titled; how to run your family like a fortune 500 business or how to be wealthy this year.  This might get more people interested about learning how to effectively conduct their finances.  Without proper money management skills, working people live in and out of poverty.

We need to break the cycle of poverty. Well over five million people live in poverty in this state alone.  What California needs is a jumpstart to our economy that is sustainable through financial education, mentorship and small business support.  Government agencies such as the Federal Deposit Insurance are meeting to discuss, “Overcoming Obstacles to Small Business Lending”. This forum on January 13, 2011 takes place in Arlington Virginia.  To jump start our economy, we need to support cash flow initiatives for small business owners.  We should ensure small business owners know some basic financial fundamentals or are obligated to learn more about finances prior to obtaining a loan.  Many times small business owners are tempted into the wrong type of credit because they were approved, not because it will help their business grow.  Bank loans are very difficult to understand and the underwriting process vary from one bank to another.  The most difficult to obtain are small or micro loans needed to start new business or small projects within a small business.  Unfortunately for start up businesses, banks’ require credit history and don’t like to waste time with what they consider to be small unprofitable loans.

Jump staring our economy will unmistakably take place in the small business sector. Micro lending and financial education will take center stage in the FDIC’s small business forum.  What will inevitably come out is that government needs to invest in community groups and local governments that help small business succeed.  Small business financial education and technical support is being done today, but at  fractured and limited way.  Several large financial institutions are collaborating with community colleges to increase the educational or technical support of small business owners and entrepreneurs. Private and non-profit partnerships like CARAT are providing lending opportunities throughout the state that will help improve employment. Many SBA offices are also providing support. The demand for these services are plentiful, and we need to do a better job at letting small business owners know where they can find help. In California the following micro-lending organizations received funding to help jump-start the economy.

CA California Assoc. for Micro Enterprise Opp. $50,250
CA Central Valley Business Incubator $67,000
CA National Community Development Institute $67,000
CA OBDC Small Business Finance $50,250
CA Opportunity Fund Northern California $50,250
CA Pacific Asian Consortium in Employment $50,250
CA Union of Pan Asian Communities $50,250
CA Valley Economic Development Center $67,000

These funds will help start-ups organize and grow their businesses. Help for established small business owners might be on its way in the form of tax breaks. There are many credit building, mentorship and support organizations for small businesses. The California Foundation Fund has established an open directory for support organizations to list their services. This free directory allows small business owners to find accurate and updated information on where they can find assistance.

However, what most small business owners need today is more business. As the demand for consumption grows, so will the economy. This takes me back to my first statement. Consumers and small business owners need to understand how to be money wise to prevent another economic storm.  All the efforts put in place are well intentioned and may have positive results.  As we pull ourselves out of this long recession, some will cautiously look back and others will optimistically move forward.  What we need is a method to track how financial literacy is helping small businesses and individuals make meaningful changes in their lives to better manage their finances and plan for the rainy days to come.

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