First American Partners with Operation Hope to Provide Youth Programs

September 1, 2011

Volunteers from First American Financial and Operation HOPE, a nonprofit financial literacy and empowerment organization, recently presented workshops covering financial education, leadership and smartphone application development to 35 youth at the National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB) annual Youth Academy.

The three-day event was part of NAREB’s 64th Annual Convention, held August 5 -10 in New Orleans.

Through a partnership with NAREB and their member Realtists, HOPE Corps volunteers conducted workshops that included HOPE’s award-winning "Banking on Our Future" program.

Additionally, the youth and several New Orleans-area First American employees participated in a New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity home-building event in the city’s 9th ward.

The "Banking on Our Future" program is designed to educate students in urban and under-served communities on banking basics, checking and savings account management, investing and the power of credit. HOPE Corps volunteers provide this training in terms that students can understand and give them tools that they can use immediately. In addition to financial education, discussions also focus on dignity, empowerment, responsibility and hope. The Youth Academy workshop also included training on the development of smartphone applications.

"By learning basic financial skills and leadership principles and by participating in events that serve the community, it is our hope that these students will develop into tomorrow's well-balanced and responsible business leaders," said Lionel Savage, vice president of industry relations and market development for First American Title Insurance Co.

Oliver Bell, market vice president for Operation HOPE and leader of the "Banking on Our Future" efforts in the organization’s New Orleans office, noted, "It is critical that students learn the basics of money, so they are prepared to enter society as adults with a fundamental understanding of how finances work. Our goal is to reach youth while they are still forming their financial habits, so they are equipped to make wise decisions about managing their money. First American has been a vital Operation HOPE partner in the New Orleans market and together we are committed to helping area youth build a solid foundation for their financial future."

Vincent Wimbish, president and chief executive officer of NAREB, the nation’s oldest minority real estate trade group said, "The collaboration among First American Financial Corporation, Operation HOPE, and NAREB represents the kind of partnership that makes change possible. Far too many of our youth find out much too late that financial literacy skills are as important as earning a diploma. We’re committed to providing opportunities for our youth and understand the life-altering differences their expanded financial knowledge can make."

First American and HOPE have been in partnership since 2004. John Hope Bryant, HOPE’s founder, chairman and chief executive officer, served on First American’s National Advisory Council from 2004 until 2009.

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