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Congrats to Empower U grads!

Posted on: April 15, 2013 | Author: Jennifer Kohle

Congratulations to the amazing group of women at the Buffalo Sage Wellness House who recently graduated from the Empower U financial literacy program for women.

The Empower U program teaches essential financial literacy skills and includes a 2-to-1 matched savings component. The savings are then used for designated purchases related to improving quality of life or contributing to self-sufficiency. Things that some of us take for granted can go a long way to achieving independence—like first month's rent for an apartment, a laptop to go back to school, or a bike to get to and from work.

ATB Financial has been working with the Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women and Buffalo Sage for the past three months opening accounts, collecting deposits, and meeting and supporting the women.

"Genuine relationships are built between participants and the facilitators, creating an environment full of learning, trust, and support," says Sandra Huculak, ATB Financial's Director of Corporate Social Responsibility and Community Investment. "The best feeling of all is to see the pride and excitement in the participants knowing they have set a goal and reached it."

We are nearing the first anniversary of this program and to date have opened over 100 accounts for women, helping them break the cycle of poverty. The program is expected to positively impact the lives of close to 1,000 women over the next five years.

Empower U is the first program of its kind in Canada to include 12 organizations working together. The program is led by United Way and supported by both ATB Financial and EPCOR. Buffalo Sage Wellness House is Canada's first minimum security prison for Aboriginal inmates in Edmonton.

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