Today we jumpstarted the financial futures of hundreds of kindergartners in Atlanta with the official launch of the HOPE Child Savings Program!

Through a partnership with Operation HOPE, Citibank, the City of Atlanta, and Atlanta Public Schools, each kindergarten student in the district will receive a $50 seed investment in their newly launched college savings accounts. Over the course of their academic tenure in APS, Operation HOPE will be there, helping to empower them with financial literacy and the tools they need to navigate their financial lives successfully.

Research shows that by simply having some money — regardless of the amount— in a college savings account, a student triples their likelihood of college. That same research also demonstrates that students with college savings accounts are four times as likely to finish college than those without. That means that we are helping to steer an entire city towards a brighter future, all because caring community institutions chose to empower our future leaders with financial literacy.

Investments like these are important because of their infinite potential returns. These young scholars are now statistically more likely to earn college degrees, resulting in better-paying jobs and more locally driven job creation. That, in turn, pours resources and capital back into the community, making more programs and opportunities available for children to learn, grow, and play. The more our children are exposed to financial literacy, science, mathematics, engineering, technology, and the like, the greater our reach becomes as a community.

Our children are brilliant. There is no reason for them to cap their potential at being an athlete or an entertainer. A college education empowers them to excel and explore a wide range. And that is how long-lasting community change begins.

Many thanks to our partners and the major players involved who helped make this vision come to life. You all have helped turn the tide of an entire city for an entire generation. Thank you. And the city of Atlanta thanks you.

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