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Latino Financial Literacy Team Keeps Busy in Southwestern Minnesota

By Sara Croymans, Extension Educator — Family Resiliency

During 2016, the Latino Financial Literacy team reported teaching 106 direct delivery classes and 3 series of classes reaching 1,125 participants in 11 counties in southwestern Minnesota. The majority of participants were Latino (79%) or White (12%), while other participants included Asian Americans (7%), African Americans (3%), Native American (<1%), and other (2%).

The team offers information in both Spanish and English. Class topics included money management, parenting, tenant education, financing higher education, and health insurance literacy.

three staff photos of the Latino Financial Literacy Team
L to R: Gabriela Burk, Jose Lamas, and Francisca Mendoza.

I am proud to lead this team, which includes Jose Lamas, located in Nobles County, serving southwest Minnesota; Francisca Mendez, located in McLeod County, serving south central Minnesota; and Gabriela Burk, located in Dodge County, serving southeast Minnesota.

The Latino Financial Literacy program helps diverse audiences, including immigrants, understand financial information and systems. The Latino Financial Capability Educators are a trusted resource in the community. Community members go to them to get their questions answered, as well as receive confidential assistance and reliable referrals.

The Latino Financial Literacy team reported conducting 274 one-to-one education sessions during 2016 that reached 383 individuals. Sessions addressed topics of concern to the client, including credit and debt; school issues; housing (e.g., mortgage, rent and tenant education), budget and spending planning, health insurance literacy, transportation (e.g, buying a car, insurance), financing higher education, school issues, savings and investing, and accessing community resources. One-to-one education was provided in 10 counties.

Learn more about the Latino Financial Literacy Team and the details of their work here: Latino Financial Literacy 2016 Annual Report (PDF).

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