Eileen Chao of Interview Ready Now introduces the Financial Literacy Program Series on Rising Food Costs.


There are exciting plans in the works for the Junior League of New Orleans’s Financial Literacy program. The prior curriculum focused on five key financial topics — banking, borrowing, budgeting, saving and investing — and was provided free and open to the public. For the 2018-2019 series, the Financial Literacy Committee is building on the foundational success of these inaugural sessions to provide tailored topics to JLNO members and the community.

The initial program ran from February 2017 through May 2018 and was extremely successful. Through ten sessions, hosted at the Broadmoor Arts and Wellness Center, the Financial Literacy Committee organized hour-long discussions on a comprehensive suite of financial topics that ranged from how to buy a car to preventing foreclosure. The sessions were engaging and well attended, featuring female presenters with financial expertise who volunteered from both inside and outside the League.

Capitalizing on the talent within JLNO and our community partners helps demonstrate the accessibility of financial knowledge, as Financial Literacy may at first sound somewhat intimidating. Both the past and planned curriculums are designed to change this reputation and expand the financial proficiency and confidence of women across greater New Orleans.  As a wide range of trusted financial publications and experts can attest, a large percentage of women in marriages or long term relationships are often not well-educated on personal finances and rely almost exclusively on the financial planning of their male partners. “This program is a way to show young women that you can do this too,” says Financial Literacy Chair Sarah Nieuwenhuizen as she passionately explains the tangible benefits of the curriculum.  

As the program moves into its second iteration in 2018-2019, three key audiences have been identified: community participants, JLNO members and young women. The community participant audience will include the members of community partner organizations and will benefit from two to three classes with a focus on the fundamentals of financial literacy. The JLNO member audience will also enjoy two to three classes with a focus on more nuanced concepts of financial planning and investing. To reach the youngest audience identified, the series will include participation in a September event presented by the Girl Scouts. At this event approximately 2,000 New Orleans area girls will have an opportunity to learn how to be confident in their future finances.

Diversifying the target audiences for the Financial Literacy program will make the information presented more meaningful for each individual participant. This strategy expands into the plans to hold classes at several community locations with possibilities including JLNO Headquarters and a lunch and learn in a downtown venue.  This approach is designed to customize the offerings to meet the needs of the community and the Junior League of New Orleans.

Financial Literacy is capitalizing on successful planning and pilot years to bring a truly valuable program to our community. Offering financial education is an important step in achieving economic freedom, which translates directly to our mission of developing the potential of women. The future for JLNO’s Financial Literacy program clearly shows a very favorable forecast.


Sharing a Wealth of Knowledge

Melanie Garofalo of LaPorte describes ways to save money over time during the Financial Literacy Program "Savings Through Tax Returns."


Sharing a Wealth of Knowledge

Financial Literacy committee member, Jen Jumonville, provides examples of ways food costs affect her budget.