Dollars and $ense: People’s United, NuPath Partner to Teach Financial Literacy

People’s United Bank and NuPath have partnered to create a program where men and women in NuPath programs can be educated on vital strategies and life skills to help them wisely manage their earnings throughout their financial life cycle.

A group of four men, Shannon, Whitman, Roland and Jack, are the most recent graduates of a Financial Literacy class that People’s United has been running for two years. Susan Carabbio, the bank’s Boston North Marketing Manager, connected with NuPath several years ago regarding the implementation of this class.

“I attended a Rotary Club event years back and was impressed by NuPath’s services for men and women with disabilities,” she said. “I thought it would be a good idea for the bank to inquire about providing financial education to further their independence—especially when it comes to money.”

Since then, the Financial Literacy class has educated men and women in the organizations’ various programs. The class prides itself on what they call “the basics of banking”, educating participants on how to fill out withdrawal and deposit slips, different types of accounts available to people and, most importantly, how to manage and save money.

For the past several weeks, Beena Patel, a Banking Associate at their Reading branch, spearheaded the latest class. “Our goal with the class is to teach them the activities of day-to-day banking,” Patel said. “Money management can be intimidating, so we want to teach the basics but have a little fun with it as well.”

Alicia Halliday, a Developmental Specialist at NuPath, accompanied the group for each class and was impressed by the detail Patel and her team put into each of the lessons devised over the past month.

“She really took the time to get to know each of the guys and understand what their individual goals were,” Halliday said. “The skills the group learned in the class are so important to achieving financial independence and building confidence.”

Patel was particularly impressed with the level of personal interaction and engagement she had over the course of the class. “The group was awesome!” she exclaimed. “They were a very engaged, active and a smart group of participants who weren’t afraid to ask questions.”

After the last class, all four men received Certificates of Completion, a new set of skills they can use to better manage their money, and most importantly, the knowledge and confidence to achieve their respective financial goals.

However, Carabbio believes that the partnership is symbiotic and has long-lasting benefits on her staff as well. “Our employees have the benefit of educating others about financial well-being and knowledge, financial literacy and stability and improve banking relationships among residents throughout our communities,” she said.

The class left a mark on Patel, leaving her with a sense of gratitude and fulfillment towards not just NuPath, but also the community. “Being able to teach this class has given me a new perspective on how important skills like money management are towards building confidence and leading happier lives,” she said.

In fact, Soares believes the skills learned in the bank’s Financial Literacy class are vital towards fulfilling the NuPath mission of making life’s journey happier, healthier and more fulfilling for people living with disabilities.

“The skills we learn in this class will make our community experiences more fulfilling and empower us to make sound financial decisions,” he said.

Carabbio echoed the sentiment, saying, “People’s United believes financial wellness is directly correlated with a happier, more fulfilling life, and our goal is providing critical tools to enrich the lives of those who NuPath works with.”