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Not for Profit: Strategic Solutions Network

Dec. 10, 2006 — A series of financial boot camps, seminars, lectures and workshops are scheduled to begin on St. Croix soon, thanks to a Youth Economic Empowerment Initiative by Strategic Solutions Network.
Strategic Solutions is the brainchild of native Virgin Islander Sana Joseph, who says she began her consulting career in college. "I would help everyone with his or her financial-aid checks," she says.
The idea for the company began after Joseph became a bank manager. She encountered a lot of minorities who didn't have a grasp on issues concerning their credit.
"I started to have seminars and free consultations, teaching the basics of credit and how to translate a budget into credit," Joseph says.
The company now "provides training education and strategies to help people identify their economic situation and help to improve on them," says Program Coordinator Lizette Llanos.
The company has successfully assisted individuals on better budgeting and understanding their credit for many years in Washington, D.C. and in the V.I. It was time to try to stop the cycle of ignorance where it concerns money matters, Joseph says. Many of her peers were not educated on credit matters growing up, she says, and she found that many of these same people became adults with serious credit issues.
"We wanted to make focus initiatives for kids in particular — ones from high school and in college," Joseph says, "so we could stop the cycle and educate a whole new generation."
The company will teach the basics of budget planning, contents of a credit report, things that affect credit, how to balance a checkbook, money-saving tips and how to set and keep long- and short-term goals, according to Llanos.
Although the official dates for the financial workshops have not been set, Joseph says UVI, Upward Bound and many of the local high schools of St. Croix have agreed to host the workshops starting later this month. Although the workshops at the high schools are closed to the public, Joseph says interested parties could attend the workshops scheduled for UVI later this month or early in January.
Because Strategic Solutions Network is a non-profit organization, many of the materials used in the workshops are donated. The program is trying to provide "Jump-Start" booklets in all of its workshops, Joseph says. The booklets will outline aspects of the workshop like credit management, buying versus renting, compound interest, budget basics and understanding debits and credits.
To donate to the program please write: 1013 Estate Whim, 109 AA-1, Frederiksted, U.S.V.I 00840.
For more information on the program's dates and times, contact Sana Joseph at 340-332-7336 or email her.
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