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CHICAGO — Because of its strong commitment to financial literacy, Alliant Credit Union recently kicked off its Fall 2006 Teaching Financial Literacy in Schools initiative with an inspirational speech by John Bryant, the founder, chairman and chief executive of Operation Hope, Inc., a national nonprofit organization providing programs to help minorities and others succeed through economic empowerment. Bryant, who has been praised by the last four U.S. presidents for his work, emphatically stated, “Financial literacy education is the primary tool to eradicate poverty in America.” He said that many people are lacking in this regard and therefore do not have the financial knowledge needed to create wealth. He told the Alliant employee audience that they can help by participating in Operation Hope’s Banking on Our Future program, and stressed that helping people is a spiritual experience. “When you touch somebody’s life, you’ve helped that person and yourself,” he said. Bryant also thanked Alliant for partnering with his organization for over the last three school years. Following Bryant’s appearance, over 30 new teacher-volunteers signed up for the program in addition to a number of employees who have taught previously. Banking on Our Future provides financial literacy education to students age nine to 18, teaching them about handling money responsibly. This fall, Alliant teacher-volunteers will teach financial literacy to 7th graders at two Des Plaines middle schools, Algonquin and Chippewa.

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