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Help Improve Financial Literacy in Deep East Texas

by Legacy Institute for Financial Education
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Help Improve Financial Literacy in Deep East Texas
Help Improve Financial Literacy in Deep East Texas
Help Improve Financial Literacy in Deep East Texas
Help Improve Financial Literacy in Deep East Texas
Help Improve Financial Literacy in Deep East Texas
Help Improve Financial Literacy in Deep East Texas
Help Improve Financial Literacy in Deep East Texas
Help Improve Financial Literacy in Deep East Texas
Help Improve Financial Literacy in Deep East Texas
FOC Opening
FOC Opening

As the COVID-19 crisis continues to worsen, the need for financial literacy and financial coaching has increased almost overnight. Thankfully, we have been working within our community for several years now and the community already has an idea of what we do. During the month of June, we have officially opened the office of our new Financial Opportunities Center (FOC).

This new office is officially our second location and will also serve as the LIFE Headquarters. The FOC is the brain of our operation and is the site where our employment coaching, income supports coaching, financial coaching, and community workshops will take place. 

To give you all an idea of the type of impact we are having in community, our yearly goal for 2020 was to enroll 60 new FOC clients. This year, we have enrolled over 55 with over 15 enrolling within the first two weeks after opening our new office! So, despite all of the turmoil COVID has caused, we are growing and serving by leaps and bounds. 

Thank you all for your continued support and stay tuned!


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Youth Program
Youth Program

We have made a decision to continue this project given the need to continue our work in this region of the country. We have also made a decision to separate our efforts into multiple GlobalGiving projects ranging from our work with youth and our work toward digital inclusion in rural East Texas communities.

With the launch of our Financial Opportunities Center (FOC), we have added over 25 new participants in the month of February alone. All of them have a need for financial literacy and would like to improve their credit scores, net worth, and net income. Several are interested in starting their own microenterprise and we're helping them to achieve that. 

One of our participants mentioned, "I wish I had known about this years ago. I would have made so many different decisions." 

These comments drive us to continue this important work. We now teach and mentor over 200 middle school students and will continue to work with them until they graduate from High School. Financial literacy will be as prevalent in their thoughts as any other subject they've studied. 

Thank you for your continued support!

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I first would like to thank everyone who contributed to this project! While our financial goal has been accomplished, I wanted to inform you that our goal of educating 300 students is still underway! 

This project has allowed us to purchase the materials we needed to provide three published books (from well-known authors) and our full-color binder consisting of over 100 color pages (plus the binder itself) at no cost to the 200 or so students we've had at no cost to them! Often, these students are unemployed and are unable to pay the $250 fee it would cost if we were to charge them individually. Your contributions have allowed us to purchase many items in bulk and to receiving matching or in-kind donations from a few of our generous partners in Lufkin, TX. 

I also wanted to share a story of one of our students who is currently enrolled in our program. She came to our door with no job, diagnosed with a mental disability, and was beginning to lose hope. She walked in to purchase something from our restaurant and juice bar. After having a conversation with her, she and I realized that God brought us together! We discussed her financial situation and she wanted to enroll in our program. After only two months of financial courses and coaching, she is now employed, off of disability, and she has a budget! She has taken control over her life and with the help of God, she will continue to grow. 

Fortunately, she was willing to write a testimonial of how we've helped her. The FOC she refers to is what our financial literacy has become, a Financial Opportunity Center.

"I feel more confident about learning how to manage my finances better. I finally see a light at the end of the tunnel. I’m more mindful about spending money on things that are not total necessities. 

The employment training has allowed me to find my path. After being on disability for two years, I forgot how to clock in and out at a job. Because of my time at the Juzi Spot, I’m building my confidence. It makes me feel important and valuable. It feels good to have to be somewhere at a certain time every day. I’m finally gaining my confidence again. My experience here is empowering me to reach for bigger goals.

Since I’ve become a client of the FOC, I have informed SSI that I’m no longer in need of my disability income. I am striving to be self-sufficient.

I’m also benefitting from LIFE Tech. For more than a year, I’ve been paying Aaron’s about $135 per month for my computer. The total cost would have been over $3,000 when you include all of the interest for a computer worth less than $1,300. LIFE Tech was able to provide me a similar machine for less than $250 through their refurbishing program. That saved me $135 per month, and I still have a computer!

Overall, it was a blessing that I found LIFE. It’s helped me threefold. Not only is the advice I’m receiving from the FOC beneficial, but it’s allowing me to work within my passion. After being labeled with a disability, I was determined to overcome that stereotype. I then learned that I could heal my body through a healthy lifestyle. As a vegan restaurant, the Juzi Spot allows me to work in an environment that serves my passion to enlighten others on the benefits of being health conscious. This allows me to continue to be mindful of my goals. Being surrounded by like-minded individuals and healthy food is therapeutic for me in all aspects of my life." - J. Morris

This was possible because of your contributions. Thank you and we will continue to keep you informed as we do our part in God's work.

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The Juzi Spot
The Juzi Spot

We have a very important announcement to make: The LIFE House is officially open for business! As a reminder, we have taken on the mission of teaching financial literacy, creating economic stability, and building generational wealth. We now have a vehicle by which we can directly address the economic stability of our community. We have launched two work experience programs. 

The first is called "The Juzi Spot." This effort provides job training, experience, and certifications for those who would like to enter into the foodservice industry. The second is called "LIFE Tech" which provides the same benefits for those who would like to begin a career/business in the information technology field. 

Along with our partners (T.L.L. Temple Foundation, Angelina College, Workforce Solutions, and Rural LISC), we are looking to challenge the status quo head-on. North Lufkin has a median household income of approximately $14,000 per year with an average household size of three, which is well below the poverty line. Our programs seek to allow participants to position themselves to earn a living wage for this region (approx. $24,000/yr.).

Once again, thank you all for your support and prayers and we continue this journey to positively affect our community in the most impactful way?

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LIFE House
LIFE House

Friends of LIFE, 

We are proud to announce that within the next two months, we will officially open the doors of our facility. We will hereafter refer to it as the LIFE House. After a busy six months and by the grace of God, we are at the brink of one of the most significant events in LIFE's short history: operating within our home office. 

This building will be used to teach and train adult students on income benefits (e.g. SNAP, WIC, TANF, etc.), job training, and individualized financial coaching. Our goal will be to have each participant within our program leave earning a wage of at least $12.50/hr. In future reports, we will share more information about this program as well as our on-the-job training opportunities for our participants. We will also describe a few of the partnerships we've established along the way to create sustainability within our programs and efforts.

We're also excited to announce that our Generation A program has been a success! The majority of our 6th graders now have an idea of what it takes to be an entrepreneur, the impact of inflation on buying power, goal setting, and the true cost of college. Next year, our role within the Lufkin Independent School District will be expanded from working with just one graduating class and twenty-three students to working with 3 graduating classes and over 160 students! Stay tuned for more fantastic news about this blossoming program!

Once again, we would like to thank you all for entrusting us with your hard earned money. Without your support, we would not be able to do what we do. Our impact is being felt and lives will be changed. Our Generation A students will never think about money in the same way and the seeds of entrepreneurship have been planted. Because of you, we are now in a position to work with 6.5 times more students than last year. This is our impact ... this is your impact!

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Organization Information

Legacy Institute for Financial Education

Location: Lufkin, TX - USA
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @LegacyForYouth
Project Leader:
Joseph Ceasar
Executive Director
Lufkin, TX United States
$7,010 raised of $10,000 goal
90 donations
$2,990 to go
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