Operation HOPE and RBC Bank partner with DeKalb Super District 7 to bring HOPE Inside to County

News Release
Operation HOPE Media Contact:

Amanda Nembhard

RBC Media Contact
Kristen Doherty

DeKalb County District 7 Media Contact
Allison M. Slocum

Operation HOPE and RBC Bank partner with DeKalb Super District 7 to bring HOPE Inside to County
Credit and money management, small business development, and homeownership preparedness education and coaching now available at no cost to DeKalb County residents.

STONECREST, Ga. – September 25, 2019 – Operation HOPE and RBC Bank have partnered with DeKalb County Super District 7 Commissioner Lorraine Cochran-Johnson to bring financial literacy coaching and education to residents. Officials and community leaders gathered today for a ribbon-cutting celebration to mark the launch. HOPE Inside RBC Bank DeKalb is now open at AEI StartUp Factory located at 7310 Stonecrest Concourse. Offered at no cost to participants, HOPE Inside RBC Bank DeKalb includes Operation HOPE financial wellbeing coaches providing educational workshops and one-on-one coaching on credit and money management, homeownership preparedness, and small business development. Sponsored by RBC Bank, the HOPE Inside office is the first to open in DeKalb County. DeKalb County Super District 7 will provide the funding of the office space as part of the partnership.

HOPE Inside, a unique financial empowerment model created by Operation HOPE to provide no-cost financial literacy coaching and education to participants through the support of financial and corporate partners, currently stands at more than 130 locations across the country. The model also includes HOPE Inside Youth, HOPE Inside Disaster, and HOPE Inside The Workplace, an employee financial wellness program.

“Today marked a profound day in the history of DeKalb County – we have HOPE! Today signifies a tremendous move towards ensuring financial dignity and homeownership for all DeKalb residents,” said Lorraine Cochran-Johnson, Commissioner, DeKalb County, District 7. I am committed to ensuring all people, regardless of their socioeconomic background or circumstances have access to resources that improves their lives. Government is about people, not politics. As an elected official, I am proud to help our county move towards green communities with progressive, healthy credit scores and viable homeowners.”

 “We are excited and honored to sponsor HOPE Inside RBC Bank DeKalb and to partner with Commissioner Cochran-Johnson and Operation HOPE,” said Melanie Kandil, Chief Compliance Officer for RBC Bank. “Financial empowerment changes lives. By helping consumers take control of their finances, this partnership is helping them take control of their future and achieve their dreams of financial stability and even homeownership.”

 “Our vision is to create a stronger, more inclusive economy through financial empowerment – and financial dignity,” said Operation HOPE Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer, John Hope Bryant. “Think of the difference our programs make in people’s lives as they improve their credit scores by 100 points or more. Think about the impact on families and communities as more people and more local businesses succeed. And consider the new investments and jobs that come to communities where people are financially secure. We are proud to partner with RBC Bank and Commissioner Lorraine Cochran-Johnson to bring meaningful impact to the residents of this county and beyond.”

HOPE Inside clients are equipped with the fundamentals to build their own businesses, raise their FICO scores, buy homes, or simply make better decisions with the money they have. The HOPE Financial Wellbeing Coach provides financial education to help individuals better understand banking products, budget wisely, minimize debt, save, and invest in their future. Clients learn the basics of making a budget, how to read a credit report, and what they can do to correct errors that may negatively affect credit ratings. The coaching also covers the client’s rights as a consumer and helps with understanding how to make the most of them.

“The client experience at HOPE Inside is rooted in financial dignity and empowerment,” Bryant said.  “The personalized one-on-one coaching process integrates four key steps: giving back dignity, reintroducing individuals to themselves, offering redemption, and providing opportunities through purpose-driven projects.”

In 27 years, Operation HOPE has served more than 4 million individuals and directed over $3.2 billion in economic activity into disenfranchised communities—impacting 1,467 U.S. cities and towns. Through the HOPE 700 Credit Score Communities initiative, the focus of raising client FICO scores to 700 is at the foundation of all HOPE Inside programming. Seventy-two percent of HOPE clients improve their FICO scores—35-point average—after 5.4 months, and a recent Accenture analysis reveals that Operation HOPE improves FICO scores at 2-3 times the rate of its peers.


About RBC Bank
RBC Bank (Georgia), N.A., a wholly-owned subsidiary of the
Royal Bank of Canada, provides U.S. banking solutions to RBC consumer clients with a cross-border lifestyle. RBC Bank pioneered cross-border banking and has been serving clients who visit, shop, study or relocate in the U.S. for more than fifteen years. Today, RBC Bank provides everyday banking, business banking and real estate lending solutions to Canadian clients in all 50 states. For more information, visit www.rbcbank.com.

About DeKalb County Super District 7
From Doraville north to River Road south, Super District 7 is comprised of over 350,000 residents representing diverse cultures and ideologies. District 7 is one of the largest districts in the State of Georgia and is proud to be home to limitless opportunities and ever progressing communities that reflect the fabric of not only DeKalb but America. With 9 employment centers and a skilled workforce, Super District 7 is well positioned for unprecedented growth and expansion during the next several years, after being one of the three hardest hit counties in Georgia during the housing crisis of 2008. Today, DeKalb is proud to be rich in land and resources well suited for economic development that will ultimately define its position as a major contender in Georgia in years to come. Super District 7 is home to the City of Tucker, City of Stonecrest, City of Lithonia, City of Doraville, City of Pine Lake, City of Stone Mountain, and the City of Chamblee. Elected Commissioner of Super District 7 in 2018, newcomer Lorraine Cochran-Johnson is dedicated to economic development, small business growth and expansion, job creation, home ownership, ensuring public safety and top performing schools. Above all else, Commissioner Cochran-Johnson seeks to ensure the quality of life for all DeKalb residents is second to none through providing needed resources and ensuring a level playing field and financial dignity for all people. For more information on Super District 7, please visit
www.commissionerlorrainecochranjohnson.com or call 404.371.3681. Follow District 7 on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @Lorraine4Change.

About Operation HOPE
Since 1992, Operation HOPE has been moving America from civil rights to “silver rights” with the mission of making free enterprise and capitalism work for the underserved—disrupting poverty for millions of low and moderate-income youth and adults across the nation. Through our community uplift model, HOPE Inside, which received the 2016 Innovator of the Year recognition by American Banker magazine, Operation HOPE has served more than 4 million individuals and directed more than $3.2 billion in economic activity into disenfranchised communities—turning check cashing customers into banking customers, renters into homeowners, small business dreamers into small business owners, minimum wage workers into living wage consumers, and uncertain disaster victims into financially empowered disaster survivors. Project 5117 is our multi-year four-pronged approach to combating economic inequality that aims to improve financial literacy, increase business role models and business internships for youth in underserved communities, and stabilize the American dream by boosting FICO scores. Operation HOPE recently received its fourth consecutive 4-star charity rating for fiscal management and commitment to transparency and accountability by the prestigious non-profit evaluator, Charity Navigator.

For more information: www.OperationHOPE.org. Follow Operation HOPE on Twitter and Facebook @operationhope