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Banking program provides skills, experience and hope to Dallas families

Buckner Family Hope Center® at Wynnewood collaborates with First Convenience Bank

Anniese Jenkins (pictured above, far left) was ready for a fresh start. After leaving transitional housing and moving into a new apartment with her three children, Anniese was hopeful for an opportunity to create a bright future for her family. 

That’s when a flyer appeared on her door – an invitation to a training program for a job in banking. Anniese talked with God and trusted the new opportunity. 

That piece of paper connected her to the Buckner Family Hope Center® at Wynnewood. She enrolled in the training program: the first step on her path toward building financial strength and stability for her family.

Path of hope for vulnerable families

The new training program is a collaboration between Buckner and First Convenience Bank to empower vulnerable families in the Wynnewood area, south of downtown Dallas.

Spencer Watkins, Family Hope Center community coordinator, knew a bank training program could open doors to employment opportunities.

Watkins proposed the program to longtime Buckner volunteer Tausha Johnson, vice president and district manager with First Convenience Bank. 

His idea would marry her banking expertise with the purpose of the Family Hope Center – support, empowerment and coaching to help families build strong futures.

The real-world job training introduces students to a career in banking and helps set them up for long-term stability. 

The training department at First Convenience Bank spent many hours creating a custom curriculum and training book. Lessons focus on customer service, cash handling, check negotiating, interviewing skills, marketing and sales, among other skills.

Learning real-world skills“We’re teaching skills they can utilize anywhere, at any bank,” Tausha explained. “You make someone feel worthy when they have options – when they can choose. We want to make sure they can put their best foot forward and have options and opportunities.”

The program culminates with a guaranteed interview with First Convenience Bank. Three graduates of the most recent class, including Anniese, were offered full-time positions with the bank. Anniese now works full-time as a personal banker.

Creating community and strength beyond bank walls

In addition to the vocational training, Family Hope Center program participants also take job skills courses where they learn more about resume writing and interviewing with potential employers. Students are also paired with a family coach to set goals and find support needed to help them remain in the training program and experience long-term success.

“I learned the importance of what credit means, how to use it and the importance of being able to save your money,” Anniese added. “I went in and I didn’t look back. I’m happy with the decision I made. I’m starting to build financial stability.”

Tausha taught the 25-hour course on evenings and weekends. In the future, she hopes to onboard more banks to further expand students’ training and interview opportunities.

“The staff at Buckner was amazing!” shared Tausha. “They provided dinner for the clients and a staff member was always present to provide me with any support. This was truly a team effort and everyone working together is what helped change the lives of these willing students. Ultimately, our purpose in life is to serve others and be helpful.”

Are you in need of hope today? Find a Buckner Family Hope Center® near you.

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