Boston, MA, August 31, 2011—Teri Williams, President and Chief Operating Officer of OneUnited Bank, announces the winners of the I Got Bank essay contest. The contest was designed to promote financial literacy for youth, using Williams’ new book, I Got Bank as a learning tool.

Children between the ages of 8-12 from across the country were invited to read I Got Bank, or a similar financial book of their choosing, and write a 500-word essay about how they could apply what they learned from the book in their lives.

The essay winners are Jordan Hartway, age 10, from Columbus, OH; Jaidah Lindsey, age 11, from Boston, MA; and Nailah Pierce, age 12, from Beverly, MA. Each will receive a $1,000 savings account at OneUnited Bank.

“We were not only surprised to receive so many wonderful essays, but even more astounded by the maturity of the writing,” said Williams. “Although it was difficult to choose only three winners, these winning essays distinguished themselves based on their compelling content, uniqueness and inspirational message about financial literacy,” she continued. The essays will be published on OneUnited Bank’s website.

In promoting financial literacy for youth, OneUnited is offering free I Got Bank books to any public library or middle school upon request (supplies are limited). To date more than 1,000 books have been donated to schools and libraries in 34 states. For more information, visit

Beverly Moss, technology director for the Betty Powers Library/Computer Center in Boston, Massachusetts incorporated I Got Bank into all of her afterschool programs, including the Technology Club House, which encourages students to discuss and learn about personal finance. “After starting a reading series with I Got Bank, I had parents coming to me saying their children were asking how to open a savings account or how they could save for something they really wanted,” said Moss. “Our discussions got the kids thinking, both the boys and the girls, about where money comes from and how they could keep it in their pocket, true life skills. Our discussions were so engaging, we are starting a Financial Literacy Group this fall.”

Gwen Patrick, Director of the Girls Conference 2011, runs a three-day power-packed conference in California for girls ages 10-18 that focuses on leadership and building leadership skills. Patrick introduced the I Got Bank book into her conference for the first time this year. “It was the one missing link in an otherwise powerful conference for young girls. The concept of educating the girls on financial literacy was a perfect fit for our curriculum,” said Patrick. “We applaud Teri Williams for giving us such a valuable, relatable tool for our urban youth to use to make life changing decisions.”

I Got Bank covers important topics such as bank accounts, credit scores and interest rates. Ms. Williams plans a series of speaking engagements and readings to middle schools and libraries to promote financial literacy. I Got Bank! is published by The Beckham Publications Group, Inc.

I Got Bank
I Got Bank! teaches financial literacy in a way that is relevant to urban youth (targeting 8-12 year olds); it also gives parents a great way to start a family discussion about the importance of saving. After the main character, Jazz age 10, saved more than $2000, his mother, older brother and sister attempt to spend his money. He has a number of adventures in connection with his newfound focus on savings. Kids will enjoy reading how Jazz stays true to his grandfather’s lessons about saving as he finds creative ways to help his family.

OneUnited Bank
OneUnited Bank (, a Minority Depository Institution (MDI) and a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), has received the Bank Enterprise Award from the U.S. Department of Treasury for six years due to its community development lending. Its mission is to be the premier bank serving urban communities by promoting financial literacy and offering affordable financial services. OneUnited has grown through a combination of organic development and by acquiring community banks that share its mission, including Boston Bank of Commerce in Boston, Massachusetts, Founders National Bank and Family Savings Bank in Los Angeles, California, and Peoples National Bank of Commerce in Miami, Florida.