Financial Literacy for Female Refugees in Colorado

by Teach by Tech, Inc.
Financial Literacy for Female Refugees in Colorado
Financial Literacy for Female Refugees in Colorado
Financial Literacy for Female Refugees in Colorado
Financial Literacy for Female Refugees in Colorado
Financial Literacy for Female Refugees in Colorado
Financial Literacy for Female Refugees in Colorado
Financial Literacy for Female Refugees in Colorado
Financial Literacy for Female Refugees in Colorado
Financial Literacy for Female Refugees in Colorado
Financial Literacy for Female Refugees in Colorado

Dear Teach By Tech community,

We are so grateful for all of your support and generous donations! You make it possible for us to continue providing this important service to the refugee and immigrant community in Denver. Summer has been great! We have been hard at work with classes and workshops. Of course, we have had a little fun too with BBQs and community events.  

To date, we have provided four 9-week financial literacy classes to refugees and immigrants from 13 different countries. It is wonderful to watch this community grow and build relationships with one another. The majority of our students now have checking accounts as several women asked their husbands to open joint accounts. We also discussed the importance of becoming or naming beneficiaries for all financial accounts. All of our participants set financial goals and began using budget planning to open savings accounts for the future or to prepare for financial shocks that may occur. We have been really developing our online banking workshops and have been teaching and helping refugees set up their online accounts and bill pay options. This will save them time and money over the year as they no longer will need to travel to the local market to pay their bills.  We have also provided a few workshops with partners Hope Communities and Mercy Housing. The workshops have been focused on understanding credit cards and how to prepare a budget.

One of the greatest aspects this year has been to meet new students and learn more about their stories. Neela, from Burma has been an extraordinary asset to us. She received an Economics degree prior to coming to the U.S. Her husband is currently serving active duty in the U.S. military and she has an 8-month old baby. She has attended our workshops and served as translator. Because she speaks several of the Burmese languages, she is able to bridge the language gap for many of our students. This is an immense benefit to our workshop participants. Watching refugees help each other and share experiences and knowledge is a privilege. I am so proud and thankful for all of our Teach By Tech students. 

Thank you again for all you do to make Teach By Tech successful and available to refugees and immigrants in our community!

Warm regards,

Linnie Pawlek

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Thank you all for making contributions to this wonderful project. What a difference 2 months makes! Through our partnership with Project Worthmore we have been able to offer 4 financial literacy classes. Each of these has been embedded into an ongoing ESL class. This has been invaluable as it has allowed us to test out our curriculum and build relationships with students. As I reflect on the past two months, I am overwhelmed by the resiliency and fortitude of each of the students. In one of our beginner classes is a woman named Lem Lem from Eritrea. She escaped the oppressive authortiarian regime, but is the last remaining member of her family. She has witnessed atrocities many can never imagine, yet she comes to class excited to learn, greeting everyone with a warm smile. On the first day Lem Lem did not understand the difference between a nickel and quarter, now she can recognize all currency and discuss flexible and fixed expenses used in budgeting. She is an amazing woman! In another class Mis Ton Soe from Burma, forced to flee the persecution of the military junta, wows me every class. She is in an intermediate ESL class. In Burma she lived in a rural area. Her family farm was self sufficient and she never attended school. She is now budgeting to save for the purchase of a home. We talk aften of how she can reduce expenses. Her mathmatical abilities are stunning and she has an incredible entrepreneurial spirit. These are only two, but each student has a story of overcoming seemingly unsurmountable circumstances, whether living in a refugee camp or as an illegal alien in a foreign country, as they waited for resettlement. I feel very priviledged to work with these individuals and learn their stories as we work together to prepare for self-sufficiency and a fulfilling future in the United States.

On March 9th, we begin teaching 2 independent financial literacy classes. One is offered at the High Beginner- Low Intermediate ESL level and one is offered at the High Intermediate to Advanced ESL level. We will continue to offer financial literacy lessons embedded in a Beginner ESL course. As we continue to learn the best adaptation of the curriculum for beginner level ESL learners, this is the best option for clarity and understanding.

Here is a breakdown of how money has been spent to this point:

$500- media consultant. This has allowed us to develop our video modules for the financial literacy classes. They are looking great and we are improving our skills with each video.

$500- studio rentals. With the money we have access to unlimited studio sessions through May of 2018. This outstanding deal allows us access to top of the line studio equipment-lighting, audio, robotic cameras. Plus, the staff at Denver Open Media Foundation has been top notch and incredibly helpful!

$150 supplies. We have purchased notebooks, pencils, calculators for all particpants. We have also printed out several scenarios and handouts for use in class.

$50- projector. To save costs on printing and make lessons more visually engaging, we purchased an inexpensive projector. This has made a huge difference in comprehension of vocabulary. 

estimated $180 on childcare expenses for 9 week financial literacy course beginning March 9, 2018.

Thank you again for your support. We would not be meeting success without you! I am so hopeful for the future and look forward to updating you on all our continued progress.

Warmest Regards,

Linnie Pawlek


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Dear Donors:

Thank you so much for supporting Teach By Tech! We had an excellent first week of fundraising. Thanks to you we had 12 donors donating a total of $935 in the first week. We are on track to meet our goal of $5000 by at least 40 different donors. More exciting news for us, Teach By Tech has become a partner of Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains! This is a wonderful partnership and will offer us the opportunity to reach and serve a larger refugee population in Colorado. By assisting refugee women in attaining financial literacy skills and business education, their chances of a successful transition to the U.S. is greatly increased. 

In the past two weeks, we have meeting with potential clients and discussing their needs and desires for the financial literacy classes. It is important to cater the classes to the specific needs of the populations we will serve. This makes every cohort unique. We are excited to continue meeting with the diverse refugee population in Denver.

Behind the scenes we have been developing the appropriate financial literacy curriculum and preparing storyboards for video production. Thanks to our partnership with Denver Open Media Foundation we should be in the studio soon recording the digital media for our courses. One aspect of our non-profit model that sets us apart, is our development of a hybrid model for education. This model is presented in 50% face to face classes and 50% video modules. The video modules are downloaded directly to the particpants mobile phones. This alleviates complications with transportation and the obstacle of time that prevent many women from pursuing education.

The generosity of our donors is what makes the success of Teach By Tech possible. Thank you again for contributing to our campaign. Your donations go a long way in helping refugees. Please continue to support us by sharing our story with your friends and colleagues and encouraging them to donate to Teach By Tech. Together we will be able to reach our goal and empower local refugees.

With gratitude,

Linnie Pawlek


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Organization Information

Teach by Tech, Inc.

Location: Arvada, CO - USA
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @Teach_By_Tech
Project Leader:
Linnie Pawlek
Arvada, CO United States

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