Citizens Bank Foundation Gives More Than $200,000 for Financial Literacy in Massachusetts

By: Chris Loney | Wednesday, May 1, 2013


BOSTON – The Citizens Bank Foundation today announced it will invest $210,000 with five nonprofit organizations that will promote and teach financial literacy in Massachusetts. Recipients include the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts, Girl Scouts of Central and Western Massachusetts, Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts, Interise and uAspire (formerly ACCESS).

The grants are part of Citizens Bank’s new program, Citizens Helping Citizens Teach Money Management, through which the bank is providing $2 million in financial support to local nonprofits throughout its 12-state footprint this month and throughout the year.

“We believe this investment will certainly make a difference in helping adults and young people in Massachusetts learn to make smart decisions when it comes to personal and business finances,” said Jerry Sargent, President, Citizens Bank and RBS Citizens, Massachusetts. “And we take great pride in seeing so many of our colleagues volunteering to improve financial literacy in their communities and with these organizations.”

The Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts is receiving $50,000 as part of Citizens Bank Foundation’s Dollars and Sense Financial Literacy Training, which is aimed at helping low-income, minority adults with poor credit in the Boston region build and hold onto financial resources.

“The generosity of the Citizens Bank Foundation will enable us to bring financial literacy training to our constituents and help them live their version of the American Dream,” said Darnell Williams, President and Chief Executive Officer. “Citizens Bank’s motto of ‘Citizens helping Citizens’ is practical and consistent with its actions.”

Recently, the Citizens Bank Foundation granted the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts $50,000 to support the Finance and Business Series of its highly successful FaB Factor program, allowing the girls to learn basic finance and budgeting skills, in addition to having the opportunity to participate in the Girl Scout Cookie sales program.

“We are grateful to the Citizens Bank Foundation for recognizing the importance of investing in girls’ futures by ensuring that girls in the FaB Factor program can benefit from our Finance and Business series,” said Ruth N. Bramson, Chief Executive Officer of Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts. “Financial literacy is a skill we believe all girls must have in order to be successful in life.”

The Citizens Bank Foundation is the sole funder of Interise’s StreetWise ‘MBA’ (SWMBA) financial module with a $50,000 grant. The finance module of its SWMBA takes Interise member firms to the next level in financial management and will integrate Citizens Bank volunteers into it.

“Together, the Citizens Bank Foundation and Interise have ensured that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ small employers have access to the executive education they need to continue to thrive and create even more jobs,” said Jean Horstman, Chief Executive Officer for Interise.

A financial advising program at uAspire will receive $50,000 from the Citizens Bank Foundation. uAspire financial aid advisors work with more than 10,000 students from the seventh grade through college graduation across Massachusetts. For every $1 spent on the program, advisors are able to secure $62 in financial aid for the students.

“Citizens Bank’s focus on financial literacy makes them a natural partner in our work across Massachusetts to better equip low income students with the tools and knowledge they need to make their dreams of college an affordable reality,” said Bob Giannino-Racine, CEO of uAspire. “Financial literacy plays a major role in uAspire’s mission to ensure that all young people have the financial information and resources necessary to find an affordable path to – and through – a postsecondary education.”

A $10,000 grant is helping the Girl Scouts of Central and Western Massachusetts implement Financial Literacy for Girls, an after-school program that helps Brownie and Junior Girl Scouts from low- to moderate-income families in Springfield and Worcester gain practical experience with managing money and setting financial goals.

“This meaningful support from the Citizens Bank Foundation will bring the Girl Scout financial literacy program to the next generation of women,” said Pat Hallberg, Chief Executive Officer for The Girl Scouts of Central and Western Massachusetts. “Our partnership with the Citizens Bank Foundation is going to help us teach girls the financial skills they will need to make it in an evolving economy.”

Citizens Bank Foundation’s investment in financial literacy comes as the nation observes Financial Literacy Month, which is focused on helping people learn how to handle their money, establish positive financial habits and manage their debts. Coupled with related employee volunteer efforts, the Citizens Bank Foundation contributions are expected to benefit thousands of consumers and small businesses throughout Massachusetts. Citizens Helping Citizens Teach Money Management will also support the financial education of consumers and entrepreneurs through financial tips and other information shared online, in branches and in social media.

More information about Citizens Bank’s community initiatives is available online at

About Citizens Helping Citizens

Grounded in the belief that a good bank gives back to its community and to the people who live there, Citizens Helping Citizens is a program embracing the community goals of RBS Citizens Financial Group, Inc. – the commercial bank holding company serving consumer and small business customers as Citizens Bank and Charter One and commercial banking customers as RBS Citizens. The Citizens Helping Citizens program comprises five key initiatives supported directly by RBSCFG and also by its nonprofit charitable foundations, the Citizens Charitable Foundation and the Charter One Foundation: Citizens Helping Citizens Fight Hunger, Citizens Helping Citizens Provide Shelter, Citizens Helping Citizens Strengthen Communities (economic development), Citizens Helping Citizens Teach Money Management (financial education) and Citizens Helping Citizens Give (volunteerism and charitable donations). Across all of these initiatives, Citizens Helping Citizens strives to enhance quality of life and economic vitality in local communities.

About the Citizens Bank Foundation

Citizens Bank Foundation is a subsidiary of the Citizens Charitable Foundation, which is a charitable contributions vehicle of RBS Citizens Financial Group, Inc., RBS Citizens, N.A. and Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania. The foundation’s support is focused on human services, affordable housing and economic development. RBSCFG’s website is

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