Our communities are more of a melting pot than ever. More immigrants are choosing to move here, and they have a lot to learn, including how to manage their finances. A group of caring people called "Project Prosper" helps ease the anxiety and is What's Right With Tampa Bay.
For Trang Doan, coming to America was really a dream come true. She came here for a better life, and now thanks to a non-profit charity called Project Prosper, she feels she has a bright future.
"I got a loan from Project Prosper and went to P-Tec for a dental assistant for program. Sixteen months after that, I got a job to pay off the loan," Doan said.
"Project Prosper" has been around for the past five years, says Maxi Wood. It was started to teach people like Trang who are new to our country about our financial system, how to use a credit card and even open a bank account.
"We have new neighbors who have to learn English, who have to learn the laws of the country and they don't really have guidance on how to learn the financial system," said Maxi Wood, who is the program manager for Project Prosper.
"It's completely run by volunteers. They have helped more than 700 people, and for many, it's been a life saver," she said.
"We want them to learn how to stay away from using credit unwisely, how to be more responsible and how to budget their money, how to choose a banks to know that they are empowered in this country," Wood said.
Even those in the financial world, like Michelle Maner, see this as an important step in helping immigrants be successful.
"One of the things that we have discovered is that a better-educated consumer, we all win in the community," she said.
And that's exactly what Trang Doan is trying to be: an educated consumer, thanks to Project Prosper.
"How I see my future now, I keep on working, I can enjoy my life," Doan said.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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