r By Meghan Goodman
The Financial Learning Center, located at Community Action Services and Food Bank in Provo, opened its doors on April 18 to the Utah County public. Agency partners Bill Hulterstrom, director of United Way of Utah County, and Kelly Ward, region president of Zions Bank, did the honor of cutting the ceremonial ribbon. Friends and supporters of Community Action Services were also in attendance for the occasion.
The center has been a vision of Charmagne Wixom’s for over a year. Wixom, already an acting home buyer counselor at Community Action, and Lisa Sorensen, a financial expert, worked closely together in preparing the center and its services.
The center received support from the surrounding community as well. Employees from VISA American Fork donated time to help remodel and prepare the center. “The Financial Learning Center was an idea about helping everybody. We’re not just about (times of) crisis, we’re about life. Wherever you are at any place, if you need help to get your finances in order, we can help you get there,” said Wixom at the opening ceremony.
The resources offered and taught at the center are focused around debt management, understanding and monitoring credit reports, budgeting and building a savings. Those who visit the center can complete a financial assessment to help them better see where they currently are in their finances and to help create future financial goals. “Our main objective is to help foster self-reliance and teach financial life skills,” said Sorensen, “Do you want your money to work for you, or do you just work to pay the bills?”
The resources at the center, including computers, financial literacy books and expert advice, are free to the public. The center is open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and walk-ins are welcome.