OneUnited Bank Announces 2016 “I Got Bank” Youth Essay Contest Winners

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

Boston, MA (September 21, 2016) – OneUnited Bank is proud to announce the winners of its 6th annual “I Got Bank! Youth Essay Contest.” Three youth each won a $1,000 savings account for submitting a winning essay on financial literacy.

Alyssa Coleman, 12, of Kansas City, MO, Kalia Marie Sky Gibbs, 12, of Los Angeles, CA and Addison Williams, 9, of Fort Worth, TX impressed the judges with how they 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.

“We received fabulous essays again this year, 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 contest.”

Middle school students from across the country between the ages of 8 and 12 submitted a 250-word essay about how they would apply to their lives what they learned from I Got Bank! or a similar financial literacy book.

The I Got Bank! youth essay 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 Contest and Summer School will be held again in 2017.

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

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.


OneUnited Bank

OneUnited Bank, the nation’s largest Black-owned bank and FDIC insured, understands we have to focus on money and technology to close the racial wealth gap. With your support, by simply opening and actively using a OneUnited Bank account, we will continue to accomplish our mission!

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