Imani_group_with_tyrese_and_roseboro_200Sometimes all the stars line up, …and one day late last year, was one of those days.

The coming together, in an inner-city classroom at Amani School in Philadelphia, PA., was with and between three black men — former Under-Secretary of the Treasury Brian Roseboro, superstar Tyrese, and myself — committed to "giving back" to our own community. Being a light to those coming behind us, that look like us, but having little to look to (as role models, and particularly black male) themselves.

And this coming together would not been possibly without the leadership, vision and ongoing support of one U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA.), who is the one the single individual that literally opened the door, and helped to provide the necessary support in the state, to make Banking on Our Future, Philadelphia, and soon Banking on Our Future, Pittsburgh (with lead sponsor E Trade Bank)…  And then there is Pennsylvania State Assemblyman Dwight Evans (D-PA), who also saw the vision of what we were trying to do, has traveled to visit our new HOPE Center under construction in Anacostia, Washington, D.C., and now helps to provide leadership and increased support for our efforts in the state… Thank you both!

On Friday October 22, 2004, then Treasury Under-Secretary for Domestic Finance Brian Roseboro presented the John Sherman Award for Excellence in Financial Education to Operation HOPE, Inc. (OHI), for its Banking on Our Future program. John_tyrese_and_roseboro_in_philly_2004_1 Roseboro presented the award, which is the 11th award received by an organization in its history, at the Imani Education Circle Charter School in Philadelphia following a joint teaching session where he and Operation HOPE Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John Bryant taught fourth and fifth graders the importance of money and how to manage it effectively.

"Any opportunity to teach young people about finances is an opportunity to provide them with vital tools they will use for the rest of their lives," said Roseboro. "This financial education program teaches students across the nation how to manage money in a practical manner. It has been very rewarding for me to teach and see firsthand the enthusiasm students have for financial education."

What an incredible day — and those YOUTH! Wow, wow, wow… John_bryant_and_jack_guynnphotoiii_2005

About the Award
In 2003, the Treasury’s Office of Financial Education (OFE) began presenting certificates of recognition to organizations around the country with exemplary financial education programs. That certificate was recently named the John Sherman Award for Excellence in Financial Education in honor of the 32nd Secretary of the Treasury, John Sherman. Secretary Sherman was a noted statesman and Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. Sherman served as Secretary of the Treasury from 1877 to 1881, in the administration of President Rutherford B. Hayes. His tenure is marked by several important elements of public financial education, most notably his efforts to sell government bonds to the public rather than through a narrow group of financial institutions. He expended great effort, with significant success, in making Treasury debt offerings publicly available and increasing the public understanding and awareness necessary for the public to participate in those markets.

Tyrese, Tyrese_and_john_in_philly_2004_1Secretary Roseboro, kids — you are my heroes, and sheroes! You LITERALLY give me hope.

Onward, with HOPE

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