My 6 months of AmeriCorps service at the Center for Financial Health (The Center) have resulted in the belief that the most important aspect of this nonprofit’s service is education. The Center provides assistance to those experiencing financial difficulty and the tools to recover their financial control, but believe education as a preventative measure is far more effective. The Homebuyer Education and the Financial Fitness classes they offer assist individuals by providing essential knowledge before entering into a financial situation that carries significant ramifications.
I have greatly enjoyed being able to teach the Financial Fitness class, and it has broadened my perspective on the types of financial difficulties one may encounter. I have learned that managing the finances of a family is a task met with much greater difficulty and emotional strain than managing my own monthly earnings, however measly they may seem. Helping families work together to take control of a household budget has been very rewarding. Further, helping children learn the concepts of financial responsibility early on provides hope that they will not suffer from making some of the mistakes of their parents.
Demand for the Homebuyer Education course taught at the Center has drastically increased over the course of my AmeriCorps service. We have seen hundreds of individuals complete the course and build a strong foundation for the responsibilities of homeownership. Then, of course, there are those for whom the class provides the insight that they may not be ready to purchase a home. It is often a difficult realization to come to, but it generally means that there will be one less foreclosure down the road.
Education is fundamental to all aspects of life, and the Center’s emphasis on building a community of knowledgeable homeowners is a large part of what drew me to this organization. It is my hope to find additional ways to provide education and assistance to my community once my term of service is over, and that the Center continues to implement its mission of education on a broader scale throughout the community in the years to come.
Ashley Samson is an AmeriCorps member at the Center for Financial Health in Lansing.
This post is part of a blog series highlighting the viewpoints of Michigan AmeriCorps Foreclosure Prevention Corps members serving at different foreclosure host sites around Michigan. View information about the program or see more stories in this series.