OneUnited Bank Announces 2017 “I Got Bank” Youth Essay & Art Contest Winners

Bank President Teri Williams’ Book, “I Got Bank” used to Promote Financial Literacy for Youth

Boston, MA (August 31, 2017) – OneUnited Bank is proud to announce the winners of its 7th annual “I Got Bank! Youth Essay & Art Contest.” Ten youth each won a $1,000 savings account for submitting a winning essay or piece of art on financial literacy.

Sulaiman Barrow, 12, Michigan, Christian Chandler, 9, New York, Stacy Gonzalez, 12, California, Kirshauna Harvey, 12, Mississippi, Riley Johnson, 8, California, Kennedi Moss, 10, Ohio, Tahira Muhammad, 12, Massachusetts, Camarria Saunders, 11, Florida, Sharday Sypher, 10, Florida and Corday Yoakum, 8, California impressed the judges with how their essays or art explained what they learned and how they would use their financial literacy to help themselves and their family. The panel of judges included Teri Williams, President & Chief Operating Officer of OneUnited Bank, the largest Black-owned bank in the U.S..

“This year we received a record number of essays and fabulous art, which means our children are increasing their knowledge of money matters,” said Williams, who wrote the book I Got Bank! after she discovered the lack of books geared toward educating urban youth about financial literacy. “We celebrate our winners and all the children who participated in the essay & art contest.”

Middle school students from across the country between the ages of 8 and 12 submitted a 250-word essay or artwork about how they would apply what they learned from I Got Bank! or a similar financial literacy book. The Bank attempted to select winners from specific cities to expand the program in partnership with BMe Community. Although there were more essays and art from more cities this year, all the cities targeted are not represented in the winners.

The “I Got Bank!” youth essay & art contest is part of a larger OneUnited Bank effort to educate youth and adults about smart money management. I Got Bank! was offered at no cost to libraries and middle schools across the U.S. and to date, more than 3,000 copies have been donated in 37 states. Bank managers, including President Williams, give financial literacy workshops to children and adults in Boston, Los Angeles and Miami – where the Bank has branches.

OneUnited Bank has also held a series of free and open-to-the-public consumer finance summer workshops at various bank branches. The workshops, called Summer School, focus on consumer banking issues such as how to build or rebuild credit, credit reports and information about how lenders make credit decisions. The two-hour workshops were presented by OneUnited Bank managers and are part of OneUnited Bank’s continuing effort to improve financial literacy in urban communities. OneUnited Bank hopes its efforts will increase awareness of such an important subject and improve the financial skills of children and adults throughout the country. The “I Got Bank” Essay & Art Contest will be held again in 2018.

I Got Bank! is published by The Beckham Publications Group, Inc.

Media Inquiries: Suzan McDowell, Circle of One Marketing, [email protected], 305-576-3790

OneUnited Bank
OneUnited Bank, a Minority Depository Institution (MDI) and a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), is a ten time recipient of the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Bank Enterprise Award due to its community development lending. Its mission is to be the premier bank serving urban communities by promoting financial literacy and offering affordable financial services. OneUnited has grown through a combination of organic growth and by acquiring community banks that share its mission, including Boston Bank of Commerce in Boston, Massachusetts, Founders National Bank and Family Savings Bank in Los Angeles, California, and Peoples National Bank of Commerce in Miami, Florida.

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