Financial literacy center opens in Westfield

WESTFIELD—A new center to help residents with financial literacy opened in a local church yesterday.

The Thrive Financial Success Center, which is being operated in conjunction with the United Way, had a ribbon-cutting ceremony yesterday morning, at the Episcopal Church of Atonement on Court Street. The center will provide financial courses and coaching to participants free-of-charge.

“Thrive is a free financial literacy success center for the community,” Jen Fernandes from the United Way, said. “The big goal is to make people financially stable and independent.”

Several individuals from the Thrive Center’s opening get ready to cut the ribbon. From left to right: Reverend Nancy Webb Stroud; Michelle Chase, PeoplesBank; Rep. John Velis; Jen Fernandes, United Way; Joe Mitchell, Westfield city advancement officer; Drew Renfroe, aide to Sen. Don Humason; Kate Phelon, Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce; Jennifer Kingsman; Michele Morris, Berkshire Bank

Offerings from the center will include individual financial coaching sessions, money skills classes, free tax preparation, workforce development, community resource referrals and confidential benefits screening.

“We sit down and work with clients to make sure they are successful in the community,” Fernandes said.

The center will also be working with PeoplesBank to provide financial literacy courses.

“We’re delighted to welcome community groups to use our space,” Reverend of the Episcopal Church of Atonement Nancy Webb Stroud said. “We will do anything we can do to support the community of Westfield.”

Among those who attended included Rep. John Velis, as well as Westfield city advancement officer Joe Mitchell on behalf of Westfield Mayor Brian Sullivan and Drew Renfroe on behalf of Sen. Don Humason. The offices of Velis, Humason and Sullivan also gave citations to the new center.

The Westfield location is now the fourth center in the area. Other locations include two locations in Holyoke and one in Springfield.

Fernandes said that she would be at the center in Westfield Tuesdays and Fridays, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. If you would like to make an appointment, call (413)333-8365 to schedule.


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