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Group photo of interns from the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation standing in front of a welcome sign. Another photo of Marla Smith-McCoy presenting to interns from the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation.

Financial Empowerment Trainings Strengthen Relationship With Congressional Black Caucus Foundation

Since 2021, GM Financial has hosted financial literacy training sessions with the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF). These training sessions, which include topics covered in the KEYS by GM Financial curriculum, highlight the company’s investment in the next generation of future government and business leaders, policymakers and congressional staff. This past fall, GM Financial welcomed a new cohort of individuals to participate in two separate engagements: one with CBCF interns and another with fellows.

During the first event, CBCF interns across 33 colleges and universities, including 14 Historically Black Colleges and Universities, received information about investing and good money habits. Marla Smith-McCoy, Assistant Vice President, Customer Experience Strategic Initiatives at GM Financial, was on hand to facilitate the event.

“We’re appreciative of CBCF for allowing us to continue to offer our financial literacy training to their intern cohort,” she said. “I’m always amazed by the level of engagement, curiosity and passion we get from the students. They genuinely want to learn about financial wellness and the impact it has on their lives.”

Mish Harrison, Customer Experience Strategic Programs Manager at GM Financial, guided participants from the CBCF’s fellowship program through the second training session. For this engagement, early-career policy professionals received tips about managing debt and explored the different factors involved in the car-buying process.

“We’re fortunate that KEYS has garnered a reputation of meeting specific financial education needs,” she said. “Not only is the content relevant to college students, it’s also a useful resource for individuals in the early stages of their careers or professional journeys.” 

At the conclusion of both events, leaders from GM Financial sat on a panel to discuss their own experiences with credit, investing and financial autonomy. These leaders included Rod Hooker, Assistant Vice President, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; Cortney Edwards, Assistant Vice President, IT System Analytics; and Rhonda Wilkinson-Jaynes, Program Manager, IT Training. Hardy Faison III, Business Planning Manager at General Motors, and Latrice Powell, Managing Director for the Michael Williams Group, also participated in the panel. The panelists shared insight into their current roles, the value and significance of credit, how investing has impacted their personal and professional lives over the years, and relayed their personal experiences on achieving financial independence and planning for early retirement.

“The opportunity to share anecdotal evidence about the impact of credit, investing and saving with those in attendance created such a great dialogue,” said Rod. “Understanding the types of financial situations explored in the KEYS curriculum is critical to the success of these current and future leaders.”

KEYS’ value and impact is evident from previous explorations and commitments. These fall training sessions are one of many instances of GM Financial engaging with congressional stakeholders and other public policy audiences. In the past, the company hosted engagements with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute and the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute.

Ryan E. Tucker, Senior Director, Leadership Institute at CBCF, attended both engagements and discussed KEYS’ impact on individuals participating in CBCF’s professional development programs.

“The financial literacy training powered by GM Financial has proven to be an invaluable addition to our professional development programs,” he said. “By equipping our interns and fellows with the knowledge and skills to navigate the financial aspects of their lives, we are directly contributing to the empowerment of the next generation.”

“I am confident that the impact of these financial literacy training programs will be reflected in the personal and professional growth of our interns and fellows.”

Kris Scott
By Kris Scott, GM Financial

Kris Scott has a passion for writing and often uses his talent as a catalyst for social change, increasing knowledge and building communities. When he’s not spreading positive vibes, you’ll find him yelling “Hail Tide” — a moniker of support for both Mississippi State University and the University of Alabama.

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