HOUSTON (June 25, 2012) – DePelchin Children's Center has partnered with One Voice Texas and the Youth in Foster Care Working Group within the Alliance for Economic Inclusion (AEI) to pilot a week-long financial literacy program that will teach youths in foster care how to support their own financial well being.  

DePelchin and One Voice Texas worked together and identified a need to support the financial literacy of this population and to ensure they are prepared to be independent and sustain that independence when they leave foster care. Critical to achieving these goals are financial education and experiential opportunities.  The camp will focus on experiential exercises providing real-world experiences for the chosen participants. 

“Understanding our financial system and how to navigate it is critical to the future success of foster children in Texas” said Jenifer Jarriel, president and CEO of DePelchin Children's Center.  “We strongly believe that through knowledge comes power, and it’s our job here at DePelchin to empower our foster children to live up to all their potential.” 

The camp, which will run from 9am-3pm daily the week of June 25th through June 29th, will empower youths in residential and foster care placements (ages 14-21) to take control of their financial future through 16 hours of financial literacy education.  The course will culminate with the final day consisting of opening a savings account and participating in a reality fair where students will be able to put their learned skills to use in real world vendor settings.  This program is innovative as those under the age of 18 have not historically been allowed to open an account.  

“I feel this class will be helpful because so many of us think we have it all together until it’s time to walk across stage at graduation, and only then do we find out that we have no clue on the importance of financially stability,”  said Monique Marshall, age 19, one of the selected class attendees. 

Participating organizations include:

  •  One Voice Texas - One Voice Texas is a collaborative of over 100 public, private, and non-profit organizations and individuals in the greater Houston area working together to ensure that the health and human services needs of all are addressed in legislative, regulatory, funding, and other public policy initiatives.  Permanency and readiness for independence for children in the foster care system are priorities for the membership of One Voice Texas.  One Voice Texas is a not-for-profit organization and receives its support from the United Way of Greater Houston, foundations, and corporations.  Visit www.onevoicetexas.org. 
  • Alliance for Economic Inclusion (AEI) - a collaborative group led by the FDIC and is comprised of financial institutions as well as non-profits in Houston and Austin that wish to support the financial well-being of underserved and disadvantaged populations by bringing them into the financial mainstream. 
  • The Women’s Resource of Greater Houston - one of the largest providers of free financial education in the Houston area and the only with a focus on educating low income women and girls. Since 1990, the organization has published 13 research reports and more than 24,000 Houstonians have completed classes.  
  • ARTreach Business Program- a program led by local artist, Danny Russo of ARTreach.  This business program teaches art and business skills for living in the real world as taught by a professional artist.   The participants will be introduced to an art and business education for youths to the graphic design and the screen printing process.  This is combined with the marketing techniques associated with gaining sales in the wholesale t-shirt industry.
  • Energy Capital Credit Union- a state-chartered, federally insured, full service financial institution.  The primary field of membership is ExxonMobil employees and annuitants and their families around the world.

 About DePelchin Children’s Center

DePelchin Children’s Center is committed to meeting the needs of children as one of the largest providers of mental health, foster care and adoption services in Texas. Through its clinical expertise and special brand of caring, DePelchin turns lives around, providing a full continuum of care including psychiatric services, counseling, residential treatment, programs for at-risk youths, parent education, foster care and adoption. DePelchin is a not-for-profit organization and gratefully receives its support from individuals, foundations and corporations; government grants and fees; and United Way agencies.  Visit www.depelchin.org to learn more.