Campus and Community

MRS Program Partners with The Women’s Resource to Improve Financial Education

UHD’s Minorities & Retirement Security (MRS) Program grant team is pleased to announce its partnership with The Women’s Resource of Greater Houston, a nonprofit organization that helps women and girls become independent, productive and financially stable. The MRS grant team is led by directors Sarah Singletary Walker, Ph.D. and Whitney Botsford, Ph.D., both assistant professors of management, as well as three graduate fellows: Patrick Moore Jr., Devalina Nag and Caroline Smith.

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“We are excited about our partnership with The Women’s Resource as it will allow us to directly impact the financial literacy of minority and low-income communities in the greater Houston area, “Walker said.

The MRS Program is collaborating with Kelly Keith, senior program director of The Women’s Resource of Greater Houston, to review and make recommendations on the evaluation tools used to assess two of the major programs offered by The Women’s Resource: personal finance classes and Project LEAD. The personal finance classes target key financial topics including banking, saving, budgeting and credit. Project LEAD focuses on teaching at-risk girls the life skills necessary for professional success and providing financial education vital for their personal success.

“We believe that a woman who controls her finances controls her destiny,” Keith said. “Project LEAD helps these young ladies identify their personal values and apply them to their future career and financial goals. Program participants not only learn how to budget and save their money, but also come to realize the impact budgeting and saving can have on their goals. At the end of the LEAD program, participants often share that in addition to learning new concepts themselves, they have also passed the information learned on to their parent.”

The UHD MRS Program is a discretionary grant program jointly administered by the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Social Security Administration. The program develops graduate students who are able to conduct quality research in the areas of retirement security, financial literacy and financial decision-making. The team’s stream of research is focused largely on the psychological, behavioral and social drivers of financial decision-making and behaviors.