HOLYOKE — Thrive, a one-stop financial success center for local college students and residents, will conduct a grand-opening celebration on Wednesday, Feb. 4, at 10 a.m. in room 309 in the Frost building at Holyoke Community College.
Thrive, a collaborative effort between HCC, PeoplesBank, and United Way of Pioneer Valley, will offer financial literacy and coaching, workforce-development services, and public-benefits screening and enrollment. Thrive will provide a valuable support system for anyone in the community (along with necessary skills to achieve long-term financial goals), but especially college students, who may be experiencing financial independence for the first time in their lives.
“I don’t think it’s any secret that most college students don’t have a lot of money and that those who choose to attend community college often do so because of its affordability and their own financial limitations,” said HCC President William Messner.
“What we see, year after year, is that managing money is a huge challenge for students. That financial anxiety is an issue that often impedes their academic performance and sometimes even leads them to drop out of school. Anything we can do to eliminate or at least reduce those financial concerns is going to help our students succeed in the classroom. Healthy financial skills will aid them not only during their college days, but also after they move on, so we are very happy to provide this new resource here at HCC not only for our students, but for members of the community who might also be facing financial issues.”
PeoplesBank has been working to increase financial literacy for years by supporting seminars in the community and teaching personal finance in area public schools.
“Academic excellence and community vibrancy are core principles of our corporate-responsibility efforts,” said Douglas Bowen, president and CEO of PeoplesBank. “Supporting Thrive gives us the opportunity to expand on our financial-literacy education efforts. It also provides our associates with another way to volunteer to improve the community and help our future workforce by teaching classes at Thrive.”
Financial literacy is also one of the four impact areas that United Way of Pioneer Valley focuses its fund-raising efforts on, because of the long-lasting results that can be attained with the proper skills and training.
“We’re here to help hardworking families build assets for a successful future,” said Dora Robinson, president and CEO of United Way of Pioneer Valley. “Our partnership with HCC and PeoplesBank has made it possible for our community to ‘Thrive.’”