By Noemi Almodovar, HOPE Business in a Box Fellow- Denver
Having wondered what working with a large non-profit organization looked like for many years, the results have been nothing short of surprising and fulfilling. In my three months with Operation HOPE, I’ve made a few observations: from the constant conference calls with people across the country—most of whom I’ve never actually met—to getting to know students in the classroom and meeting some incredible people we are blessed enough to have as volunteers, it is clear I’ve joined an organization that is large and widespread, yet tight-knit, and one with a cause that is bigger than myself; which is, after all, what I was looking for.
When I share with people what I do with Operation HOPE in Denver, people respond pleasantly surprised. “Financial literacy is exactly what we need in our classrooms, especially these days,” they say. We provide tools and resources through Banking on Our Future for people—young and old, native and non-native—to become more financially-savvy and feel increasingly empowered when it comes to handling their personal finances—something that can truly feel overwhelming when one lives paycheck to paycheck. We make sure to talk about personal financial disasters, predatory lenders, reservations about keeping money somewhere where we can’t see it, and our misconceptions about banking. The good, the bad, and the ugly.