Wednesday, July 13, 2016

RIRA Youth Initiative Teaches Financial Literacy To Roosevelt Island Young Adults With Help Of Amalgamated Bank Execs - Will Use New Skills To Organize Program For Seniors And Disabled

Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Community Polling and Youth Initiative Chair Adib Mansour reports:


The RIRA Survey showed that many residents feel the community is not doing enough for the young adults on Roosevelt Island. This has prompted me to create a new RIRA Initiative that has short and long term benefits. A new program was designed to focus on the middle school female students that were in the Soccer Leadership program created last year through the Roosevelt Island Beacon at PS/IS 217.


The initiative fits in a Civic Engagement category that will teach young adults on Roosevelt Island basic financial literacy: how a bank works, how a credit card differs from an ATM card, how to manage a budget and how / why saving money for future needs is valuable. It also introduces them to new job opportunities in the financial field. On the long term aspect, the young adults will organize activities or events for members of the Roosevelt Island Seniors Association and the Roosevelt Island Disabled Association and be recognized island-wide for their leadership engagement.

Amalgamated Bank:

In June, the group of young ladies visited Amalgamated Bank for a behind-the-scene tour and learned the ins-and-outs of a bank’s operations. Branch Manager Albert Salas and Retail Banking Representative George Alba

Image Of Roosevelt Island Youth Initiative Visit To Amalgamated Bank

provided a Banking 101 overview, as well as a description of future career opportunities. Some of the things they learned: Identifying the major types of insured financial institutions, as well as five reasons to use a bank; they learned how to open and maintain a bank account, the diverse bank services. At the end, they went into the bank’s Safe, which turned out to be a thrilling experience.

The students found the session highly informative and they also appreciated receiving Amalgamated Bank souvenirs.

Community Engagement:

We will provide the group with $200 credit card (unanimously approved by the RIRA Common Council) to come up with an event or program to serve the seniors and disabled on the island. This could be anything from a picnic to acquiring books to be read to the Seniors by the students on a long-term basis; etc.

The group had several meetings thus far where the young ladies volunteered to take on different responsibilities including budget, talent and dance performances, sound and music, costume and props, and much more. They would have to figure out the cost and budget for their project and determine the best possible way to spend their money. They will also have to engage the Roosevelt Islander blogger and the WIRE for publicity, as well as engaging with local politicians, the community leaders, RIOC, and RIRA. They are working on dance performances with the help of the Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance.

The young adults will gain knowledge of banking, job opportunities, budgeting, and planning, as well as helping neighbors in their community, a win-win-win benefiting many aspects of the island.

The Future Leaders:

Here are the names of the young ladies in this RIRA leadership program and their responsibilities:
  • Kaia K. Dance 2 / Cupckaes
  • Tia Y. Dance 1 / Costume Coordinator
  • Madison L. Food/Drinks Vendors Coordinator
  • Jaden L. Location/ Publicity Coordinator
  • Any L. Talent / General Coordinator
  • Kyla P. Dance 2/ Food/Drinks Vendors Coordinator
  • Sarah L. Music DJ Coordinator
  • Lina B. Dance 3 / Costume Coordinator
  • Tatiana D. Dance 3 / Budget Coordinator
  • Kayla F. Dance 1 / Props Coordinator
For more information, please contact Adib Mansour at We will announce the date of the final event that will be presented to the senior and disabled citizens of Roosevelt Island.
The full RIRA survey is here.