Citigroup_2007_announceCitigroup Foundation Awards $500,000 to Operation HOPE; "Banking on Our Future" Program Expands to South Africa

DALLAS–(February 28, 2007)–Building on the success of Banking on Our Future, a financial education initiative designed to teach children the basics of managing their financial futures, Executive Vice President of Retail Banking for Citibank Texas, Bill Brown and Operation HOPE Founder, Chairman and CEO John Hope Bryant, announced plans to expand the award-winning, Banking on Our Future program, into South Africa later this year. The City of Dallas Mayor Pro Tem, Donald Hill also participated in the event. The program expansion will be supported by a $500,000 grant from the Citigroup Foundation.

The announcement was part of Citis activities to celebrate black history month and to promote Texas Saves Week, a financial literacy awareness assembly created to motivate and empower students at Jack Lowe Sr. Elementary School.

We are pleased to continue Citis and the Citigroup Foundation commitment to Operation HOPEs Silver Rights mission and expand Financial Education to South Africa to inspire and educate thousands of young people and promote economic empowerment for underserved youth, said President and CEO, Citigroup Foundation, Pam Flaherty.

Banking on Our Future is what educating the next generation is all about, said Executive Vice President of Retail Banking for Citibank Texas, Bill Brown. Providing financial education to students today will help build strong communities tomorrow. We applaud and support Operation HOPE on the expansion of a program that empowers so many young people in underserved communities to become more knowledgeable about personal finance.

Following the pep rally, a host of financial executive teachers including Bill Brown and President and Regional Director, Citi Cardmember Services, Perry Fagan made their way into classrooms for a teaching session. The Banking on Our Future program educates students on the basics of banking: budgeting, checking, credit, investments, savings and dignity too.

John Bryant expressed his satisfaction: Operation HOPE is motivated by Citi and the Citigroup Foundations contribution to be even more aggressive in bringing financial literacy to more communities in this country and abroad. Banking on Our Future in South Africa will continue to prove the importance of providing our youth with the tools of empowerment.

Banking on Our Futures expansion into South Africa, is in line with the mission of both organizations to bring economic self-sufficiency and a sustained spirit of revitalization to underserved communities. In addition to sponsors like Citi and the Citigroup Foundation, the program works in partnership with local Departments of Education, local school districts, the FDIC, the Federal Reserve System, the Department of the Treasury, and over 200 additional public and private partners. It is the winner of Oprah’s Angel Network Use Your Life Award and the U.S. Treasury Departments John Sherman Award for Financial Literacy Excellence. In the last 10 years, some 4,000 HOPE Corp volunteers have educated more than 210,000 youth to date.

Impressed with the program, Connie Wallace, principal, Jack Lowe Sr. Elementary School has also invited the Dallas Banking on Our Future office to provide training for the parents and staff at the parent/teacher conferences this spring. The first conference is scheduled for March 1.

In 2004, Citi and the Citigroup Foundation announced a 10-year, $200 million global financial education commitment, the formation of a new Office of Financial Education and a global initiative designed to encourage its 300,000 employees around the world to devote time to support financial education and other charitable causes. Under this initiative, employees may take a day off from work to volunteer for non-profit organizations in their communities.

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