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May 31, 2023

Free courses equip Rancho Cielo students with essential financial skills

SALINAS — To better equip young adults with essential life skills, Salinas-based nonprofit Rancho Cielo recently offered financial education workshops to 65 students — some of whom are studying for jobs that will help them to earn their first paycheck.

During Financial Capability Month in April, local Bank of America bankers provided students with various Better Money Habits workshops to teach them the financial knowledge and skills to confidently navigate the world of personal finance and achieve financial stability. Topics included goal setting, budgeting, establishing credit and saving money.

For nearly 20 years, Rancho Cielo Youth Campus has served marginalized, primarily Hispanic-Latino youth from low-income households throughout Monterey County who have experienced difficulties in high school due to family barriers, pregnancy, homelessness and other challenges.

Rancho Cielo provides 150 students per year with a second chance, offering them counseling, life-skills development, diploma education and vocational training in Monterey County’s top three industries: agriculture, construction and hospitality.

Guadalupe Soria, assistant vice president with Bank of America in Salinas, was one of the volunteers teaching the workshops. She knows that giving back to the community is a part of the bank’s culture.

“Being able to deliver financial education to the hard-working Rancho Cielo students brings joy to my job,” Soria said. “I feel privileged to share my knowledge with them that can positively impact their future.”  

Students also gave the workshops high marks. An 18-year-old student from Salinas noted, “Financial planning and budgeting are important topics we aren’t taught. Learning these basic skills and best practices are helpful and sets me up to better achieve my goals.”

The volunteer efforts are just the latest examples of how Bank of America helps Rancho Cielo with its essential work. The bank recently awarded the nonprofit a $50,000 Neighborhood Champions grant to help expand its transportation network to allow students to reach the center. The grant will also provide leadership development for the nonprofit’s executive team.

Better Money Habits courses are available free of charge to anyone, whether or not they are Bank of America customers. Visit to learn more about the range of online classes offered in English and Spanish.

Staff Report
A staff member edited this provided article.


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