Opportunities Start Here!

Opportunities Start Here!

Congratulations to the recent graduates of Financial Education Class sponsored by Encuentro and Prosperity Works.  What makes this graduating class unique?  The 17 graduates are single mothers and their college bound children!  Both mother & child are now saving to continue their education with an IDA.

“The graduation celebration was great last night,” says Monica Cordova, IDA Coach working with participants to continue their savings.  Watch what Monica and the students have to celebrate on this week’s YouTube video with Sarah Kennedy and Rusty Rutherford.

Prosperity Works, launched “Opportunities Start Here” to increase utilization of US financial and educational systems, while supporting the individual economic dreams of low-income, single immigrant mothers and their children living in Central and Southeast New Mexico.

The project is funded by a $100,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation of Battle Creek, Michigan, $20,000 of funds from the Assets for Independence Program, US Health and Human Services, and $20,000 of community-based donations provided to Prosperity Works.

“With education as the cornerstone of opportunity in our nation, we are excited to widen the possibilities for single mothers and their college bound students.” said Ona Porter, President and CEO of Prosperity Works. “It is through excellent partnerships that we are able to implement high-impact strategies like Opportunities Start Here. This initiative includes Prosperity Works, La Plaza de Encuentro, The Women’s’ Intercultural Center, Voices for Children, and Community Action Agency of Southern New Mexico.”

Efforts focus on developing knowledge of financial products and services, providing immediate access to higher education and career enhancement, and developing sustainable systems within New Mexico’s higher education and financial industries to support immigrant women and their children.

“This project provides the only opportunity for many of our low income single immigrant moms to save for their family’s education. Most importantly, the project fosters collective learning about the financial challenges facing Latino immigrant families and how to access the resources, relationships and information to overcome these barriers and build the kinds of assets that will help low income families move out of poverty” stated Andrea Plaza, Executive Director of the Plaza de Encuentro.

Plaza added, “The information and the intergenerational dialogues that were shared between moms and their sons and/or daughters in the class are like nothing I’ve ever experienced in my work with the immigrant community.  The youth are expressing not only an intellectual curiosity in understanding financial systems, but also a deep emotional interest in understanding the challenges their mom’s face in managing household finances.  This experience will certainly prepare these immigrant families to better face the financial challenges of saving for and accessing higher education.”