Partnering to Help New College Students

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (September 12, 2013) – After participating in the Financial Education for Students seminar hosted by the Community Foundation, Jaclyn Verity, a 2013 Community Foundation Scholar and a freshman at the University of Miami, quickly realized she’ll be faced with many financial realities while in college.  Besides understanding the impact of debt, establishing credit and making wise credit card choices, it was the guidance to create a budget that started her on a sound financial path.

To make certain students are in the best possible financial situation when they graduate college, Citi Foundation, CredAbility

Over 150 students and families attended the financial education workshops at the Community Foundation.

and the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties joined forces to educate college-bound students about the financial decisions ahead of them.  Financial Education for Students was launched in June after the Community Foundation received a $50,000 grant from Citi Foundation.  The grant was used to provide financial education counseling from CredAbility, a leading national provider of credit counseling and education, to the Community Foundation’s 2013 scholarship recipients and applicants. The financial education included group workshops for students and their parents as well as personal, one-on-one counseling for the scholarship recipients.   

“I really enjoyed my personal session with CredAbility, especially learning about the importance of having a budget,” comments Jaclyn Verity.  “After my meeting, I created a personal budget and even downloaded an app to help track my spending.  I know it’s important for me to develop good habits now so when I graduate, I’m in a good financial position.”   

The financial education workshops conducted by CredAbility were attended by 150 students and their families in June 2013. CredAbility covered a variety of topics including student loans, the implications of being past due and establishing good credit. During the summer and throughout the school year, CredAbility will provide one-on-one counseling for each of the Foundation’s 89 scholarship recipients. The goal is to provide vital knowledge so they will make wise choices while in college.

“Students are constantly faced with situations involving money and finances,” comments Ramon Rodriguez, Community Officer with Citi Community Development.  “Citi Foundation’s aim is to provide students and their families with practical tools and financial knowledge so students have a better chance at being successful. If they learn to make sound financial decisions early on, they will increase their chances of leading economically sustainable adult lives.”

“This program provides an exciting opportunity to enhance our scholarship program, further promoting our donors’ wishes to help students be successful in their academic careers. We are grateful to Citi Foundation and CredAbility for working in partnership with us. This is a great example of how working together is better than working alone,” noted Jillian Vukusich, Vice President for Community Investment at the Community Foundation.

Over the past several years since the economic downturn, more students entering college are already in difficult financial situations. Many students and their families face homelessness because of foreclosures and there has been a dramatic increase in the number of students whose parents are unemployed.  According to H.R. 300: Young Adults Financial Literacy Act which was introduced in the House of Representatives in 2011, young adults (ages 20-24) represent the fastest growing segment of bankruptcy filings.  In 2010, national student loan debt exceeded credit card debt for the first time in history and has risen to over $1.1 trillion dollars. To read more and to find additional resources, visit  



About CredAbility 
Founded in 1964, CredAbility is one of the leading nonprofit credit counseling and education agencies in the United States, serving clients in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, in both English and Spanish. CredAbility provides in-person counseling through their branch network in five states in the Southeast. Service is provided 24/7 by phone at 800.251.2227 and online at

About Citi Foundation
The Citi Foundation is committed to the economic empowerment of individuals and families, particularly those in need, in the communities where we work so that they can improve their standard of living. Globally, the Citi Foundation targets its strategic giving on its priority focus areas: Microfinance and Microenterprise, Small and Growing Businesses, Education, and Financial Education and Asset Building. The Citi Foundation works with its partners in Microfinance and Microenterprise and Small and Growing Businesses to support environmental programs and innovations. Additional information can be found at

About the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties
As one of Florida’s largest community foundations, the Community Foundation works for Palm Beach and Martin Counties in multiple ways, playing multiple roles.  The Foundation offers donors an effective way to manage giving by providing expert philanthropic advice, extensive community knowledge and philanthropic vehicles and services. For the community, the Foundation serves as a grant maker and a civic leader and awards grants to the region’s nonprofits to help meet community needs, fulfill donors’ philanthropic wishes and strengthen the nonprofit sector. Founded in 1972, the Foundation has total assets of more than $140 million and has awarded over $100 million in grants and scholarships in Palm Beach and Martin Counties.  

Tina Snider
Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties
Director of Marketing and Communications; (561) 340-4510

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