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CFI Receives Grant From Citizens Bank For Women's Financial Literacy Program "MAKING C.E.N.T.S"

Updated: Dec 22, 2023

LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J., December 13, 2023 –Community First Initiative (CFI), the nonprofit partner of Community Investment Strategies (CIS) Inc., has received a $10,000 grant from Citizens Bank in addition to other private and philanthropic funds for the nonprofits Making C.E.N.T.S. (Championing Economic Navigation for Transformational Success) program. The grant will help provide financial literacy education to women in CIS-owned units.


CFI is a minority, women-led nonprofit focused on serving and empowering low-income individuals and families through housing and social services. The organization focuses on serving women and minorities while collaborating with the government and other entities to combine the tools needed for residents to thrive.


Through Citizens Bank, Citizens Helping Citizens Initiative that aims to focus on financial empowerment and workforce development, the grant funds will be deployed at the onset of the Making C.E.N.T.S. program, scheduled to begin in January 2024.


“By partnering with CFI and Citizens’, CIS is able to fulfill its vision of providing quality affordable housing along with services and programs that empower and support its residents,” said Chief Operating Officer of CIS, Jeffrey Crum. 


The $10,000 grant awarded will be combined with an additional $40,000 in other private and philanthropic funds to enable CFI to develop, facilitate, and run the program.


Through interactive financial education programming, the Making C.E.N.T.S. program advances diversity and social equity within Monmouth and Union Counties.


The program will cater to women living in affordable housing and seek to address gender disparities by targeting a demographic vulnerable to financial hardship.


“CIS is grateful for Citizens Bank’s meaningful support,” Crum said.


Key program elements include budgeting skills, banking and savings, mentorship impact, and financial education.

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