Global financial dignity and economic empowerment nonprofit, Operation HOPE, Inc., announced today a partnership with the Association for Financial Counseling & Planning Education® (AFCPE®) to certify HOPE financial wellbeing coaches with the Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC®) designation. The AFC® certification program includes comprehensive life-cycle financial education, providing HOPE coaches with the knowledge and skills to assist clients in complex financial decision-making. At present, 60 coaches within Operation HOPE’s national HOPE Inside network are participating in the program funded by the Citi Foundation.

“We are pleased to work with AFCPE to expand the capabilities and credentials of our financial wellbeing coaches,” said John Hope Bryant, founder, chairman, and CEO of Operation HOPE. “Through our programming model, our coaches drive the mission of HOPE every day in underserved communities around the country.”

HOPE Inside is a model of community uplift that has transformed the work of HOPE, installing HOPE financial wellbeing coaches inside community locations, including, bank branches, grocery stores, college campuses, medical facilities, and in workplaces as an employee financial wellness benefit.

“AFCPE believes that all people, regardless of income or background, deserve access to the highest standard of professional financial coaching, counseling, and education,” said Rebecca Wiggins, AFCPE executive director. “We are excited to partner with Operation HOPE and applaud their focus and commitment to high standards, inclusion, and dignity for all people.. The investment that Operation Hope is making by certifying more than 60 professionals through the AFC® program demonstrates their commitment not only to their coaches but to the communities that they serve. The AFC® provides the financial knowledge and skills that allow professionals to meet their clients no matter where they are in their financial journey and help place them on a path to financial well-being.”

In the past five years, the award-winning HOPE Inside model has transformed and extended the reach of HOPE — growing from one location on the West Coast to more than 120 locations in both urban and rural communities, in more than 20 states, connected with more than 40 partners, touching almost 3 million lives. There are commitments for 450 new HOPE Inside locations in the next 18 months, with a goal of 1,000 operational locations by 2020. Each office holds consumer credit counseling certification, CFPB, FDIC, U.S. SBA, EITC, HUD, and FEMA applications and partnerships, and through HOPE Inside, Operation HOPE is the only organization certified by the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council to operate within a bank.

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About Operation HOPE, Inc.
Since 1992, Operation HOPE has been moving America from civil rights to “silver rights” with the mission of making free enterprise and capitalism work for the underserved—disrupting poverty for millions of low- and moderate-income families across the nation. Through our community uplift model, HOPE Inside, which received the 2016 Innovator of the Year recognition by American Banker magazine, Operation HOPE has served more than 2.8 million individuals and directed more than $2.7 billion in economic activity into disenfranchised communities—turning check cashing customers into banking customers, renters into homeowners, small business dreamers into small business owners, minimum wage workers into living wage consumers, and uncertain disaster victims into financially empowered disaster survivors. Project 5117 is our multi-year four-pronged approach to combating economic inequality that aims to improve financial literacy, increase business role models and business internships for youth in underserved communities, and stabilize the American dream by boosting FICO scores. Operation HOPE recently received its fourth consecutive 4-star charity rating for fiscal management and commitment to transparency and accountability by the prestigious non-profit evaluator, Charity Navigator. For more information: www.OperationHOPE.org. Follow Operation HOPE on Twitter and Facebook @operationhope

About AFCPE
AFCPE® ensures the highest integrity of the financial counseling profession by certifying, connecting and supporting diverse professionals. Our comprehensive certification programs represent the gold standard for financial counseling, coaching, and education, including the AFC® (Accredited Financial Counselor®) certification which is accredited by NCCA and nationally recognized by CFPB and Department of Defense and the FFC® (Financial Fitness Coach) designed in partnership with Sage Financial Solutions.

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MEDIA CONTACT

Caryn Anderson
(404) 660-0573
caryn.anderson@operationhope.org

Rachael DeLeon
(614) 368-1046
rdeleon@afcpe.org

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