Monday, July 4, 2011

Financial Education: Two-Way Street

Bremer Bank in Marshall partnered with African Development Center of Minnesota (ADC) and Iftiin, Inc. in June to host a financial education workshop for East African community members. Participants arrived with the goal to learn more about navigating the American financial system. Nimo Farah, ADC Deputy Director, Housing & Financial Education, led the workshop. Bremer Personal Banker, Lori Babcock, joined in to present on topics – opening & balancing accounts, debit cards and ATM networks. (Both are pictured below) Asking attendees what they wanted to learn about during the session, topics mentioned included:

- Understanding more about credit
- General information about banking
- Spending planning
- Protecting identity

I enjoyed sitting in on the workshop. It was a lively exchange of information, experiences and loads of Q&A! At Bremer, we know we can learn a lot by listening to our customers and potential customers, and this workshop day was a golden opportunity for us to understand the banking curiosities and needs of people new to the U.S. financial system. Hindi Store/Restaurant, right down and across the street from our bank, brought in a great lunch. The Marshall Area Financial Empowerment Collaborative shared information on its local network from all corners of the community that stands ready to help with any connections or ongoing financial information that East African families need.

Next month, ADC and Bremer Bank Willmar will partner with Willmar Somali Women's Center to run the same workshop for East African families in our Kandiyohi County area.

Lois Schmidt, NRS, Willmar

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