Solano Commission on Women and Girls to tackle financial literacy – The Vacaville Reporter


In a historic first, the Solano Commission on Women & Girls will host its first joint workshop with the Friends of the Solano Commission for Women and Girls to help attendees change the tide on their financial literacy.

“Financial literacy is crucial for women and girls. When we are empowered with knowledge, we gain control of our finances which means we foster independence and self-sufficiency,” said Kay Kelley, President of the Friends of the Solano Commission on Women & Girls, in a press release.

The inaugural Women & Money Workshop is slated to cover a range of topics which will mine the expertise of the gathered financial experts. Keynote speaker Courtney Bolger, realtor with EXP Realty of California, Inc will be joined by panel speakers Kimber Smith, a financial advisor for Edward Jones, certified financial coach Brendie Heter as well as other industry professionals.

Panels are set to cover a range of topics from personal finance basics and homeownership to the importance of financial literacy for young adults.

Whether it’s young folks who have never been in the workforce or those who have already built a career, all ages are encouraged to attend. It’s never too early to think about and plan for retirement, Commissioner Jacqui Nguyen said.

It’s also important to realize financial illiteracy can plague any age. Nguyen pointed to credit card companies and their 0 percent APR student offers as a common origin story for debt accrual among young adults. In their excitement to gain financial freedom, young adults without financial tools often fall prey to these offers, Nguyen said.

“Studies show that 21 percent of high school graduates are less likely to carry a balance on a credit card while in college if they are financially educated and understand about smarter spending and borrowing. Our hope is to provide an avenue for women and girls to start thinking about financial management,” said Jennifer Hamilton, Chair of the Solano Commission on Women & Girls, in a press release for the workshop.

Despite this compelling data, California is among the majority of states that do not require a semester-long personal finance course for high school graduation, according to Next Gen Personal Finance.

One significant effort to combat this oversight occurred in 2017. Brendie Heter, who will speak at the workshop, sponsored the personal finance curriculum for William S. Hart Unified School District, the largest high school district in California to add the program.

Though steps like Heter’s might be the exception, Kelley notes “the Solano Commission for Women and Girls has made great strides in its five years of existence as a dedicated group of commissioners from various backgrounds that have worked tirelessly to enrich the lives of underserved women and girls in our community.”

The workshop is free to the public though registration is required before November 28.

There is also an added incentive of giveaways and swag bags to the first 100 attendees. Unlike the credit card companies, these incentives won’t hurt your credit score or lead you into debt. In fact, by inviting you through the door they might help in accomplishing the opposite.

The Women and Money Conference will be held at the Solano County Event Center on Saturday, December 2 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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