Oakwood Bank, a community bank with four locations in Dallas as well as branches in Snyder and Oakwood, Texas, recently announced its ongoing investment in the Youth With Faces Financial Empowerment Program. Continuing an initiative launched in 2023, the bank serves as Youth With Faces’ partner in personal finance education with volunteers who lead engaging curricula inside juvenile justice facilities in Collin and Dallas counties. The bank also supports the nonprofit’s career- and life-skills education programs with a $20,000 annual investment.
In 2023, more than 20 Oakwood Bank volunteers delivered important lessons on budgeting, saving, and navigating the complexities of credit cards and identity theft to more than 60 juvenile residents enrolled in Youth With Faces programs.
“Justice-involved teens often face a number of hardships and need to find work to support themselves and their families,” said Dr. Jazminda Ryan, Youth With Faces Director of Programs. “Oakwood Bank is lifting up our students by helping them develop critical money management skills that will benefit them throughout their lives.”
Oakwood Bank employees gave dozens of hours of their time in 2023, completing volunteer training, background checks, and showing up for multiple volunteer shifts. They show compassion and respect for the students, engaging them in lessons that will help them manage their earnings and build savings.
“Oakwood Bank’s ongoing involvement in Youth With Faces programs has a profound impact on our students’ lives,” said Chris Quadri, Youth With Faces CEO. These financial programs provide a sense of hope and stability for young people while allowing them to acquire new skills, develop meaningful relationships, and find success in their personal and professional lives. The bank’s commitment to social responsibility and community engagement is truly inspiring.”
At a recent check presentation announcing Oakwood Bank’s second-year commitment to Youth With Faces, the bank’s volunteers also expressed how the program benefits them:
Eugene Tremblay, CRA Officer, “Oakwood Bank is proud to partner with Youth With Faces. In addition to demonstrating the bank’s commitment to the community, it has also made a meaningful impact on the bank and our 20+ volunteer teachers. It has increased our awareness as a socially responsible institution, helped improve young lives, and fostered positive community relations. We can’t wait to continue the program in 2024!”
Ray Kembel, EVP, “In many ways, working with Youth with Faces is as rewarding for me as I hope it is for the young people we teach. You can see in their eyes and hear in their words that they want to grow and learn to make better decisions personally and financially. Like with many group settings, there are always two or three kids that you see the lights go on in their mind when they realize they have all the skills it takes to achieve their goals. If we can give them the best tools possible and support them, the world will be better for us all.”
Wendy Wilkinson, VP, Treasury Management, “Youth With Faces has given us the opportunity to connect with and impact youth that need to expand their knowledge with finances, credit, identity theft, banking, and so much more. It has been so rewarding to work with the students and share my experience from many years of banking. The nonprofit’s staff are amazing and welcoming, and the youth have been very eager to ask questions and participate. A great experience for all of us!”
Paul Ruedas, Loan Operations Specialist, “This service and role have meant a lot to me. I grew up in very similar neighborhoods as the students, so it is humbling to share my financial knowledge and experience with these young men and women. I was blessed with parents who shared their knowledge with me, and my hope volunteering with Youth With Faces is to do the same for these young men and women.”
Oakwood Bank volunteers are already back in the classroom this year, currently working with a group of young women in Collin County who come to class each week eager to learn and ask questions.
“It’s fantastic to see the students excited about this program,” Quadri added. So many people never receive lessons on critical money management skills. We’re grateful our students are learning from some of the most compassionate and knowledgeable personal finance professionals in North Texas.”