Jared Harsha (Chief Risk Officer, RBC Bank), Melanie Kandil (Chief Compliance Officer, RBC Bank), Lecester “Bill” Allen (founder, AEI StartUp Factory), Lorraine Cochran-Johnson (Commissioner, DeKalb County District 7), Lance Triggs (President, Office of Program Operations, Operation HOPE), and John Hope Bryant (Chairman and CEO, Operation HOPE). Photo by Allison M. Slocum.
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 on September 25 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.
DeKalb County District 7 Commissioner Lorraine Cochran-Johnson. Photo by Allison M. Slocum.
“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.”
Melanie Kandil, Chief Compliance Officer for RBC Bank. Photo by Allison M. Slocum.
“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.”
Operation HOPE Chairman and CEO, John Hope Bryant. Photo by Allison M. Slocum.
“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.
Lance Triggs (President, Office of Program Operations, Operation HOPE) introduces the HOPE Inside financial coaches to the attendees of the HOPE Inside RBC Bank DeKalb Grand Opening & Ribbon Cutting. Photo by Allison M. Slocum.
Lorraine Cochran-Johnson (DeKalb County District 7 Commissioner), John Hope Bryant (Chairman and CEO, Operation HOPE), Lecester “Bill” Allen (founder of the AEI StartUp Factory), and Jared Harsha (Chief Risk Officer, RBC Bank) discussing the importance of financial wellness and the impact that HOPE Inside RBC Bank DeKalb will have on the resident of DeKalb County. Photo by Allison M. Slocum.
Lorraine Cochran-Johnson (DeKalb County District 7 Commissioner), Jared Harsha (Chief Risk Officer, RBC Bank), Melanie Kandil (Chief Compliance Officer, RBC Bank), and John Hope Bryant (Chairman and CEO, Operation HOPE) at the HOPE Inside RBC Bank DeKalb Grand Opening & Ribbon Cutting. Photo by Allison M. Slocum.
To view the event photo gallery, please visit http://bit.ly/2lS2Xb6.
View the official press release by clicking here.