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U.S. Bank has partnered with the nonprofit organization Positive Atmosphere Reaches Kids (PARK) to help at-risk middle and high school children in Little Rock, Arkansas, build a pathway to homeownership.
Through a series of U.S. Bank dinner conversations, groups of parents, guardians and U.S. Bank volunteers gathered monthly to participate in legacy-building discussions. The PARK students led the conversation, which ranged anywhere from how to utilize a good credit score to how to start a business.
The impact of the dinner discussions reached beyond the students, impacting the adults in attendance as well.
“What we must do is get around the dinner table with these kids and talk finance. That’s something we don’t do enough of in households of color,” Keith Jackson, former NFL player and President of PARK, said in a statement.
Jackson dreamt up the vision for PARK while he was still an NFL player, initially starting as an after-school program that supports kids on their journey to college.
The dinner events and outreach opportunities were coordinated through Access Home, an initiative under the U.S. Bank Access Commitment. The mission of Access Home is to improve financial literacy and remove historical barriers to homeownership.
Access Home has been launched in five markets, including Little Rock, where the homeownership gap in Black communities is the largest.
“Homeownership is the key to stability, financial wellness and generational wealth,” Tim Welsh, Vice Chair of Consumer and Business Banking for U.S. Bank, said in a statement. “We cannot do this alone and we share tremendous appreciation for our partners who are bringing this work to communities across the country. We are excited to get to work and create lasting impact in so many ways, including education, access to the lending options, financing, our new mortgage loan officer development program designed for reaching the Black community and more.”