Updated: May 18
By Abigail Stopka, Better Kenmore CDC
Finances are an uncomfortable topic for many people. Budgeting can be confusing and sometimes it feels like you're stuck. Luckily, The United Way’s Financial Empowerment Center, located at 1060 Kenmore Blvd, is ready and excited to help you get your finances on track.
The Financial Empowerment Center (FEC) opened in 2018 to help Summit and Medina County residents build financial stability by giving them the resources they need to budget and save, pay down debt and boost their credit scores.
Antoinette Dudley, the Director of The Financial Empowerment Center, explained that the FEC employs a team of professional financial coaches trained to help people navigate financial challenges and achieve financial goals. Coaches help FEC clients create budgets, set savings goals, improve credit scores, and reduce debt through free, one-on-one sessions.
Another program the FEC offers is “Bank On Rubber City”- a coalition led by United Way of Summit & Medina Counties and the City of Akron. Bank On educates and connects Summit County residents to safe and affordable banking products and solutions that are key to successful financial empowerment.
“We have a broad goal of financially empowering 11,000 people in Summit County and 2,500 people in Medina County by 2028,”Antoinette explained, adding “since we've been open, we have helped clients decrease their debt by $5,395,598 and increase their savings by 2.3 million. We have helped 2,682 clients since opening in 2018 and have done 10,084 sessions since opening.”
The FEC also offers free tax preparation services to those who qualify.
“I used [the FEC] to have my dad's taxes done for his estate,” one FEC client explained. “The staff was very helpful and courteous! Having his taxes done for free and the quality of the service meant the world to me.”
If you or someone you know could benefit from the services offered by The Financial Empowerment Center, you can visit the office Monday- Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. at 1060 Kenmore Blvd. You can contact them at 330-762-7601 or you can schedule your one-on-one financial coaching session online here. Appointments are offered in person or virtually. FEC’s financial coaching sessions are free for all and have no income restrictions.