SOURCE: Operation HOPE, Inc.

June 24, 2008 20:45 ET

The Citi Foundation Awards $500,000 to Operation HOPE

Grant Supports New Office in South Africa and U.S. Initiative for Youth Financial Literacy Program

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - June 24, 2008) - Today, Citi and the Citi Foundation presented a $500,000 grant to Operation HOPE (HOPE) to provide ongoing support for "Banking on Our Future" -- HOPE's financial education initiative designed to teach children the basics of managing their financial futures. The grant will also provide funding for the award-winning Banking on Our Future program in the Guateng province in South Africa. The check presentation and teaching session were a part of HOPE's "silver rights" agenda to empower underserved communities by promoting financial literacy.

Citi Executive Vice President and HOPE National Board member David Simon and Daria Sheehan, Citi Foundation Senior Program Officer, traveled alongside HOPE Founder, Chairman and CEO John Hope Bryant to deliver an overview of banking, savings, and investing strategies to sixth and seventh graders at Democracy Prep Charter School. Students were treated to tickets to the NY Mets baseball game afterwards.

"We are pleased to continue Citi's and the Citi Foundation's commitment to Operation HOPE's 'Silver Rights' Movement. Now more than ever young people need to understand the language of money and how to make it work for themselves and in the communities in which they live. Our work with HOPE serves to inspire and educate thousands of young people and promote economic empowerment for underserved youth here and abroad," said Citi Executive Vice President and HOPE National Board member David Simon.

Through the Banking on Our Future program, some 441 Citi volunteers and volunteers from HOPE's government, national trade association, university, and community partners have delivered financial literacy to 11,025 students.

"Citi and HOPE have been partners starting back in 2002 when Citi Foundation committed a dozen volunteers and an initial seed grant of $25,000 to launch our partnership for underserved youth in Harlem. We launched our affiliation going into our first classroom in Harlem with former President Bill Clinton and I, co-teaching Banking on Our Future with the support of Citi volunteers. Now our partnership is not only national in 10 major U.S. markets but Citi is our first global partner for financial literacy -- now on the ground in South Africa. I could not be prouder of our association with Citi and its incredible group of team leaders. Through the years Citi's commitment to our work has remained solid. This is significant and they deserve to be applauded," elaborated Bryant.

Banking on Our Future has been distinguished as a recipient of Oprah's Angel Network Use Your Life Award and the U.S. Treasury Department's John Sherman Award for Financial Literacy Excellence. In the last 10 years, some 4,000 HOPE Corps volunteers have educated more than 280,000 youth to date in the U.S. and South Africa.


Citi, the leading global financial services company, has some 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 100 countries, providing consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, and wealth management. Citi's major brand names include Citibank, CitiFinancial, Primerica, Smith Barney, Banamex, and Nikko. Additional information may be found at or

The Citi Foundation is committed to enhancing economic opportunities for underserved individuals and families in the communities where it works throughout the world. Globally, the Citi Foundation is focusing its giving on Microfinance and Microentrepreneurship, which helps individuals become economically self-sufficient; Small and Growing Businesses leading to economic expansion and job creation; Education, which prepares young people for personal and professional success; Financial Education, which helps individuals make informed financial decisions; and the Environment with a focus on sustainable enterprises that generate jobs and stimulate economic growth while preserving the environment. In the U.S. and Canada, the Citi Foundation supports Community Development programs that help build and revitalize neighborhoods and Education programs that prepare students for college and careers. Additional information can be found at

About Operation HOPE, Inc.

Operation HOPE, Inc. (HOPE) is a leading nonprofit social investment banking and financial literacy empowerment organization. Through several global initiatives and its three principal programs: Banking on Our Future (teaching youth about financial empowerment), HOPE Coalition America (financial emergency preparedness and disaster recovery), and the HOPE Center Banking Network (loans, bill pay, computer literacy, understanding banking principles), HOPE is leading the "silver rights" movement towards making free enterprise and capitalism relevant to all underserved communities. For a complete 2008 board list or other information about the organization, visit us at

Contact Information

  • Media Contacts:

    Luis Rosero

    Operation Hope
    Sherry John