Naperville Area News

Date ArticleType
2/21/2019 General
Chicago-area At Risk Youths Benefit from Community Organizations’ Financial Literacy Programs

Advancing financial literacy
Along with parents, schools and religious institutions, community-based organizations play a vital role in helping at-risk youth. The Community House, a Hinsdale non-profit organization providing community recreation and social services, represents one such organization. Among its many missions, The Community House supports youth from Willowbrook Corner, a disadvantaged community 10 miles south of the House, with an initiative called the Willowbrook Corner Youth Learning Program. Oak Brook-based Leaders Bank is among entities teaming with The Community House on the effort. “The bank provides support for the Willowbrook Corner initiative, is a community partner for the agencies serving the Willowbrook Corner area and provides financial literacy for the program,” said Leaders Bank’s compliance officer Allison Bartels, “The bank has been a supporter of the Willowbrook Corner initiative for 15 years.”
Youth participants master a number of financial abilities, including basic banking skills and debt management. They learn about the importance of student loans and credit reports. Adult counterparts are also schooled in topics like first-time home buying.
“The students are eager to learn how money works, especially in a world where purchases can be made with a smart watch or on a cell phone,” Bartels explained.
“They understand that technology is going to continue to play a role in the world of finance and want to know how they can best benefit from it. They always have insightful questions related to real-life experiences that make us think.”
Willowbrook Corner director Rebecca Perkaus reports Leaders Bank has been instrumental in the program’s success for all of the past decade and a half. “The critical skills that are taught to the children are something they will carry with them through adulthood,” Perkaus said. “We are grateful to Leaders Bank for helping us enable our young people to start positive habits early, such as saving money and budgeting which will help them make fiscally-responsible decisions when they are older.” ###

Chairman's Circle and President's Circle Members