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Orange County United Way Establishes Financial Literacy Program For South Orange County Families

Orange County United Way Establishes Financial Literacy Program for South Orange County Families

  • Program benefits families facing financial and housing insecurity through education, workshops, and one-on-one support from a financial wellness expert
  • Newest SparkPoint OC location expands services and reach to South County residents

Irvine, CA (May 5, 2022) – Orange County United Way today announced that its Financial Literacy Program benefitting South Orange County families facing financial and housing insecurity, has become permanent under its United for Financial Security initiative.

The Financial Literacy pilot program was launched in 2021 during the pandemic and in partnership with the City of Dana Point and Capistrano Unified School District. The yearlong pilot program, with four different cohorts, was offered to low-income and COVID-impacted parents of students at R.H. Dana Elementary School in South Orange County as well as South County residents. Participants worked one-on-one with a financial wellness specialist, attended a series of workshops to learn financial skills, and received laptops to build digital skills and ensure access to various resources. In the first year, Orange County United Way met its goal of helping 100 families that had an average annual household income of $31,179. Nearly 60% of participants increased their income by an average of $671 and nearly 30% of participants decreased their debt by an average of $322.

The pilot program was so successful and the need so great that its services will now be offered permanently at R.H. Dana Elementary School, which has become the newest site of Orange County United Way’s SparkPoint OC financial empowerment program. Since 2012, SparkPoint OC has offered financial education and one-on-one coaching to give Orange County residents the tools they need to thrive and get on the path of financial security.

“The harsh reality is that many South Orange County families are facing financial and housing insecurity,” said Susan B. Parks, President, and CEO of Orange County United Way. “One of Orange County United Way’s key initiatives is financial security. Through this now permanent Financial Literacy Program, we will be able to help these families improve their financial well-being and stability so that they, and their students can succeed.”

The current cohort, which runs from March 28th to June 17th is currently full, with 27 participants enrolled. The next cohort begins on June 20th. The program is open to families with children at R.H. Dana Elementary or Palisades Elementary Schools as well as families who live in Dana Point or in communities within South Orange County.

An information session will be held on June 7th from 11:00 – 11:30 a.m. PST for anyone interested in the program.

For more information, please contact Marcela Ticas at MarcelaT@UnitedWayOC.org or call 949-263-6178.


Today’s Orange County United Way is committed to leading the fight for equity by removing barriers, closing gaps, and leveling the playing field for everyone who lives here. More than a fundraiser, we’re hands-on, delivering more than 50 programs countywide to improve lives in our community. Every day we are doing more for the Education, Health, Housing and Financial Stability of people in Orange County. We are working to ensure our students succeed, our struggling families find financial security, and our homeless neighbors find a place to call home. To learn more or discover how you can help, visit www.UnitedWayOC.org.

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Media Contact: Annie Noebel, anoebel@cornerstonecomms.com, (949) 525-7024

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