The Transylvania Times -

United Way And OnTrack Promote Financial Empowerment – Brevard NC


Celeste Collins, executive director at OnTrack Financial Education & Counseling, stresses key points regarding personal financial empowerment at the April 21 toolkit training session for local providers of social services.

United Way of Transylvania County (UWTC) and OnTrack Financial Education & Counseling have joined forces to offer financial empowerment toolkits for social service providers. The goal is to integrate financial empowerment activities into a variety of client-focused social service formats.

Steve Pulliam, UWTC's CEO, got the collaborative ball rolling after learning about United Way Worldwide's collaboration with Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to increase personal financial empowerment.

CFPB is a national organization with a goal of helping Americans make financial decisions that they believe are best for themselves and their families. Education is a primary CFPB strategy.

"It is a natural flow of energy for the UWTC-funded 'Families & Money' to participate in the dissemination of the CFPB financial empowerment information," said Pulliam.

Families & Money is a collaborative program featuring the efforts of United Way of Transylvania County, Western Carolina Community Action (WCCA) and OnTrack Financial Educaton & Counseling.

After participating in a train-the-trainer session, Celeste Collins, executive director of OnTrack Financial Education & Counseling, presented a "Your Money, Your Goals" training session in Brevard to staff from several local social service agencies.

"Your Money, Your Goals" is a step-by-step toolkit that teaches caseworkers how to guide their clients toward financial empowerment as they develop control of their own personal financial world.

"In addition to providing case managers with this informative CFBP toolkit, the training built new inter-agency connections, so the Families & Money collaborative is now an even more accessible resource for those clients who have financial or credit needs," said Collins.

OnTrack, an Asheville based nonprofit, uses education and counseling to support individuals as they overcome crises, manage basic needs, and improve their financial management skills. They serve 18 counties, including Transylvania County and offer local appointments twice each month. Appointments can be scheduled by calling 1-800-737-5485.

The Families & Money Collaborative is hosting a free credit class May 21 from 8:30-10 a.m. at WCCA in Brevard. Following the class, participants can receive a credit report and FICO score.

UWTC has three goals for achieving positive community outcomes: increasing residents' financial stability, raising the county's high school graduation rate, and improving health care access and healthy behaviors.

At the present time, UWTC funds programs that strengthen families by helping prevent teen pregnancy, homelessness and neglect; and by providing housing, adult day care, family counseling, after-school programs, health care access, free transportation, youth athletic programs, financial counseling and youth conflict resolution training.

To volunteer or financially support the United Way of Transylvania County, call 883-8822, visit the office at 101 W. Jordan Street, #4 (below PNC Bank in downtown Brevard), send mail to P.O. Box 53, Brevard, NC, 28712, or visit


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