Giving Every Young Person in CUSSETA ALABAMA a Path to Reach Their Potential
Our nation’s most basic duty is to ensure that every child has the chance to fulfill his or her potential. This isn’t the responsibility of one individual or one neighborhood: it’s up to all of us to pave these paths of opportunity so that young people — regardless of where they grow up — can get ahead in life and achieve their dreams.
That’s why My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) is such an important initiative. Launched by President Obama last year, MBK brings communities together to ensure that all youth — including boys and young men of color — can overcome barriers to success and improve their lives. I got to see this work up close during a recent trip to Oakland, California. I joined Mayor Libby Schaaf, City Council President Lynette McElhaney, and other stakeholders for a conversation about efforts that are making a difference in the lives of local youth.
One of the participants was a teenager named Edwin Manzano. The son of a hard-working single parent, Edwin found encouragement and support at the East Oakland Youth Development Center (EOYDC). Thanks in part to the academic and mentoring services offered by the EOYDC, Edwin will become the first member of his family to attend college when he begins his studies this fall at San Francisco State University.
Edwin is grateful for the opportunities that EOYDC afforded him. “Everyone needs a support system,” he says. That’s true whether you are a teenager or HUD Secretary. I was lucky when I was growing up on the West Side of San Antonio. Although it was a modest community in terms of resources, it was rich with folks who took an interest in my future. I had family members, teachers — and even policymakers — who paved a path that allowed me and other young people like me to succeed.
Unfortunately, not every child is as fortunate. That’s why My Brother’s Keeper is so close to my heart. The future of every young person in America should be determined by their heart, their mind and their work ethic. It should never be determined by their zip code.
In Oakland, I talked with 17 young people who have big hopes and aspirations for the future. It’s in our nation’s interest to help them achieve their goals. And we’re committed to doing our part at HUD.
For example, we’ve introduced a Jobs-Plus pilot program that will provide public housing residents in eight cities with intensive employment training, rent incentives and community building focused on work and economic self-sufficiency.
We’re also working on a broadband initiative to ensure that students living in HUD-assisted households will benefit from the life-changing opportunities available through high-speed internet. This project will provide the access to online resources that young people need to succeed in the 21st century global economy.
On the housing front, we expect the recent expansion of our Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) initiative to aid HUD-assisted properties in raising billions of dollars in private sector investment — funding that will be used to secure our nation’s affordable housing future. And recently, our Federal Housing Administration lowered its Mortgage Insurance Premiums to make homeownership more affordable for responsible families, helping them put down roots and build wealth for the future.
But I know HUD alone won’t solve the issues facing America’s youth. These challenges require our Department to maintain longstanding, effective partnerships with other federal agencies and key stakeholders. Most importantly, President Obama understands that My Brother’s Keeper will only succeed if local leaders take his call to action into their own hands.
Folks in Oakland are stepping up to answer this call. During the Community Conversation, I spoke with leaders from Oakland’s nonprofits, philanthropic institutions, and faith-based organizations that are putting our young people on the path to success. Groups like the East Oakland Youth Development Center, the East Bay Foundation, and the Allen Temple Baptist Church are using promising and proven approaches to make a real difference in their communities.
This kind of work is happening all across the nation and will benefit generations of Americans. We’ve got to keep it going by continuing to support our young people. When they succeed, our nation grows stronger, and our future becomes brighter. And by giving everyone an opportunity to reach their goals, we can ensure that the 21st century is another American century.
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Take Action to Improve Your Financial Situation in CUSSETA ALABAMA
By Katie Bryan, America Saves Communications Director.
America Saves Week, February 24
March 1, 2014, is a time to review your finances, decide what you want to
save for, and set up a system that will allow you to save automatically. Thats
why the America Saves Week theme is Set
a Goal. Make a Plan. Save Automatically. Did you know that only half of
Americans report having good savings habits? Even if you are already saving,
its good to take a look at your goals and decide if you can save more or start
a new savings goal. Join thousands of others who are pledging to pay down
debt, save money, and take financial action during America Saves Week.
Not sure what to
save for or what to save for next? Here are the most popular saving goals
of those who have pledged to save through America Saves:
· Save for Emergencies - Only 37 percent
of low-to-moderate income households have a savings or money market account at
a bank or credit union and nearly a quarter of savers who have pledged to save
have chosen emergency savings as their first wealth-building goal. Learn
· Save for Education - Saving for
education is the second most popular goal savers select when they pledge to
save with America Saves. There are many different things to factor in when
saving and paying for college. Learn
· Pay Down Debt - Getting out of debt is the #3 goal
Savers select when they pledge to save. That does not come as a surprise since
a 2012 survey found that 45% of families
with annual incomes under $50,000 rely on credit cards to pay for basic needs
such as rent, utilities, insurance and food. Learn
· Save for a Home - For decades, home ownership has
been the main path to wealth for most Americans. Today, home equity - the
market value of a home minus the balance on any home loans - represents more
than four-fifths of the typical family’s wealth. Learn
· Save for Retirement - Retirement
savings is a top priority for many Savers. Saving for retirement now will
ensure that you have enough money to maintain a comfortable standard of living
when you stop or reduce the amount of hours you work. Learn
Not sure how to
save for your goals? Here are some saving strategies to help:
· Save Automatically - The easiest and
most effective way to save is automatically. This is how millions of Americans
save at their bank or credit union, and how millions of employees save through
401(k) and other retirement programs at work. Learn more.
· Save at Tax Time - Do you spend weeks eagerly
anticipating your tax refund? When the money finally comes in, is it gone
tomorrow? Many people view tax refunds as unplanned bonuses. They see the money
as a gift from the government, to use for splurges or treats. But a tax refund
provides the opportunity to improve your financial situation. Learn
the America Saves Pledge (or re-pledge) today to set your savings goal and
make a plan to save. When you take the pledge you can also choose to receive
text message tips and reminders to help you save for your goal. And dont
forget to follow America Saves on Facebook
America Saves Week is coordinated
by America Saves and the American Savings
Education Council. Started in 2007, the Week is an annual opportunity for
organizations to promote good savings behavior and a chance for inpiduals to
assess their own saving status
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It can be hard to know if you´re being abused. You may think that your husband is allowed to make you have sex. That´s not true. Forced sex is rape, no matter who does it. You may think that cruel or threatening words are not abuse. They are. And sometimes emotional abuse is a sign that a person will become physically violent.
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