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LOU Saves is a child savings program that seeks to improve quality of life by providing multi-generational financial education and nurturing college-going aspirations among underserved youth. The program is a partnership between the Grisham-McLean Institute for Public Service and Community Engagement, Gordon Community and Cultural Center, Horizons at the University of Mississippi, and United Way of Oxford and Lafayette County.
LOU Saves opens child savings accounts for eligible elementary school students in the Oxford and Lafayette County School Districts. The accounts are opened with $50 seed deposits provided by the program, and LOU Saves engages in fundraising efforts to match up to $100 per year of deposits made on behalf of each participating child. Research indicates that children with a bank account in their name are 6x more likely to attend college, so the accounts are opened in the child’s name and are administered by a third party custodian. The accounts are restricted for expenses related to college or postsecondary job training expenses.
Parents and caregivers of students entering the program are required to attend a financial literacy workshop and a one-on-one financial coaching session. Additional, age-appropriate financial literacy activities will be offered for participating students. The program will also offer family engagement opportunities year-round, such as regular “bank days” for the students; workshops on home ownership, credit score repair, financial goal setting, and other financial skills for parents and guardians; individualized case management; and tax preparation assistance.
The program works with third grade students in Lafayette County at both the Oxford and Lafayette County School Districts. Students are encouraged to work with the McLean Institute, learn more about college and career planning, and save for their future education until they graduate from high school.
For more information about LOU Saves, contact Laura Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org.