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Program Components

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The Network provides a 16 session Financial S.E.L.F. Empowerment curriculum tailored towards individuals with no to low earned income. Financial S.E.L.F.-Empowerment classes are a blend of both financial empowerment and personal development/S.E.L.F. Empowerment.

Class topics include:

Financial Literacy

Discussions on basic financial terms, resources and goals while developing techniques to apply it to various financial situations.

  • Developing a personal budget
  • Understanding marketing and consumer culture
  • Setting SMART goals
  • Understanding credit history
  • Reading credit reports
  • Fixing bad credit
  • Using financial technology
  • Navigating large institutions
  • Understanding the undue cost of services
  • Understanding housing documents (leases, mortgages, etc.)
  • Calculating net worth


Discussions on how to heal individually and collectively from emotional and historical trauma.

  • Understanding personal and collective trauma and healing
  • Addressing negative self talk
  • Using positive affirmations
  • Understanding stress and responses
  • Utilizing mindfulness techniques
  • Measuring and celebrating success
  • Assessing personal relationships
  • Understanding the impact of stereotypes
  • Developing an entrepreneurial spirit
  • Changing unproductive habits
  • Developing resilience to overcome hardships

Financial Incentives

While in classes, Network members can earn financial incentives, which are awarded for certain member behaviors such as attending class on-time, completing homework, and participating in positive financial activities. 

Through a partnership with American Heritage Federal Credit Union, members can open bank accounts and make deposits to start the habit of savings. Members are encouraged to use money saved towards their financial and personal goals. Many people don’t believe they can save money. Members of the Network leave the program knowing that they can save and seeing the balance in their account as proof. The goal is to support members as they establish a habit of savings, as opposed to focusing on a monetary savings goal. The program focuses on unlearning the belief that saving is about putting as much of your disposable income in the bank as possible. Saving money is about creating a productive habit of building liquid assets, which lead to less stress and higher achievement.

The Network does not limit or restrict how members use their financial incentives. 

Coaching and Peer Support

While the Network prioritizes peer support and community resources, it also offers individualized support through Network coaches. Each member is invited to participate in coaching sessions for personalized attention to their individual financial and personal goals. Coaching sessions help members:

  • Access credit reports
  • Understand bankruptcy
  • Gain knowledge of tax and title liens
  • Interpret financial mail
  • Develop business and entrepreneurship ideas
  • Create healthy relationships
  • Set personal and professional goals
  • Identify resources and stories to share with fellow members

Individuals requesting assistance outside of the classroom format may schedule one-on-one sessions with coaches to address and provide referrals for issues such as intimate partner violence, mental health and housing concerns.