Staff Report

MIAMI – FIU’s College of Business and the SunTrust Foundation have joined forces to create the SunTrust FIU Financial Wellness Clinic, a state-of-the-art bilingual financial literacy center to educate FIU students and high school students enrolled in Miami-Dade County’s Academy of Finance, as well as parents and the community at large.

Made possible through a $600,000 grant from the SunTrust Foundation to FIU’s College of Business, the center will educate and empower low- to middle-income residents of Miami-Dade County’s multicultural communities through an innovative and comprehensive bilingual curriculum; free resources and educational tools; consulting; workshops and seminar series; guest speakers and mentoring.

“The SunTrust Foundation seeks to build our communities and partner with organizations that align with SunTrust’s purpose of ‘Lighting the Way to Financial Well-Being,’” said David Fuller, president of the SunTrust Foundation. “We are committed to providing individuals with the financial tools and resources they need to become financially confident and believe this clinic will be a great resource for students and their parents as they work toward their financial goals.”

The financial literacy center will build on FIU’s internationally recognized expertise to create a tailored curriculum establishing resources to engage the South Florida community. The SunTrust FIU Financial Wellness Center is led by the College of Business’ Capital Markets Lab, and is located in the Management and New Growth Opportunities (MANGO) building at FIU’s MMC Campus.

The technology-intensive SunTrust FIU Financial Wellness Clinic is designed to boost finance skills for its participants and includes interactive free financial literacy workshops for high school students and their parents. Participants will learn firsthand how to responsibly spend, save, borrow, and invest, as well as how to be a smart consumer when shopping for financial services and insurance. The program is currently open to students at Coral Reef Senior High School and Coral Gables Senior High School.

In addition to these resources, the high school students—many of whom will be the first generation of their families to attend college—not only will receive exposure to the FIU higher education community, but also have the opportunity to directly interact with faculty and students of the College of Business.

“The SunTrust FIU Financial Wellness Clinic presents a holistic approach that will enable our community members to take control of their financial lives—the key to establishing a stable and successful future,” said Jose Aldrich, acting dean of the College of Business at FIU. “In addition to providing resources for our FIU students, the Clinic will enable us to educate tomorrow’s students.”

The impact of the SunTrust FIU Financial Wellness Clinic is expected to be far-reaching. Based on current estimates, 6,728 high school students and 1,347 parents will benefit from its resources. In addition to increasing FIU’s annual impact on high school students and parents, the SunTrust FIU Financial Wellness Clinic will greatly increase FIU’s capacity to engage its internal community of business students. Furthermore, an estimated 3,975 students annually enrolled in the First Year Experience Course will be impacted through an enhanced financial literacy curriculum, developed in conjunction with the SunTrust FIU Financial Wellness Clinic.

“We are grateful to SunTrust for their 30- year partnership and commitment to FIU, to our students, our future students, and to the community that we all call home,” said Howard R. Lipman, CEO of the FIU Foundation and senior vice president of University Advancement.