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Reach to Enrich- Financial Ed Outreach

Arvest Bank - Fort Smith, AR

2022 Community Committment Awards Submission

  • Financial Education
  • Asset Size: Medium

Through a partnership with Credit Counseling of Arkansas (CCOA), Communities Unlimited, Economics Arkansas, University of Arkansas A Division of Agriculture Research & Extension, and Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. The Reach to Enrich initiative began as a three-year pilot program in the Fort Smith Market Arvest Bank's region in 2019. The Reach to Enrich financial capability pilot program focused on changing the economic well-being of residents in the Fort Smith area by training Arvest Bank associates (Navigators) and externally training members of the community (Master Money Mentors). Outreach focused on educating the public on savings, budgeting, credit, and other financial basics, to the underbanked communities.

Fort Smith was selected because it can be characterized by high rates of less-than-prime credit scores, and below average home ownership rates -strong credit scores and high home ownership rates being key indicators of economic well-being. However, we did not anticipate being impacted by a pandemic at the launch of the program, 2019 into 2020.