Living Classrooms and SunTrust Partner to Expand Financial Education and Workforce Readiness in Baltimore, Washington D.C.

May 5, 2015

Contact: Living Classrooms -Thara Taylor, 410-428-5301,
SunTrust – Mandi Critchfield, 202-661-0607,

For Immediate Release
May 5, 2015

Living Classrooms and SunTrust Partner to Expand Financial Education and Workforce Readiness in Baltimore, Washington D.C.
$500,000 grant from SunTrust Foundation promotes hands-on education and job training in region

Baltimore, M.D. – Living Classrooms Foundation today announced that the SunTrust Foundation has pledged $500,000 toward the SunTrust Financial Education Center in Baltimore City, building on its multi-year commitment to the organization.

For more than 30 years, Living Classrooms has been focused on education and workforce readiness in the most economically challenged areas of Baltimore and Washington, D.C. This support will enable Living Classrooms to provide financial coaching while helping people find work and advance their careers.

“We believe that transformations happen when individuals, families and communities possess the skills, support and opportunity to become their own agents of change,” said James Piper Bond, CEO of the Living Classrooms Foundation.” The greatest asset of any economically and socially stressed community lies in the untapped potential of its people. Tapping that potential requires high quality educational opportunities and early intervention for children and youth, employability and job skills development, and ultimately higher rates of adult participation in the workforce. A strong grounding in financial literacy is a crucial element in building self-sufficiency and creating economic security.”

He continued,”Through this grant and partnership opportunity, we will be able to build upon the results of SunTrust’s support to date, particularly the current SunTrust Foundation Financial Education Center at the POWER House, to deliver high quality financial education where it is greatly needed in Baltimore and Washington, D.C. This will greatly enhance our efforts to help low-income individuals and families get on a path to financial stability. We appreciate SunTrust’s support and hope that others will follow their lead to serve and empower communities in Baltimore and Washington, DC.”

“Living Classrooms Foundation’s mission, programs and initiatives are significantly aligned with SunTrust’s purpose of Lighting the Way to Financial Well-Being,” said Scott Wilfong, chairman and CEO of SunTrust Bank, Greater Washington/Maryland. Speaking on behalf of the SunTrust Foundation, Wilfong added, “The need to inspire children to explore and achieve their potential is critically important, particularly for those growing up in the most challenging of circumstances. Living Classrooms will provide important early financial education to disadvantaged children and youth, giving them an excellent head start in financial literacy, and also helping us to engage their parents and families. We are pleased to provide this contribution to help expand their financial literacy initiatives across Living Classrooms’ programs.”

Founded in Baltimore, Maryland in 1985, Living Classrooms Foundation is a nonprofit organization that strengthens communities and inspires people to achieve their potential through hands-on education and job training, using urban, natural, and maritime resources as ‘living classrooms.’ Its philosophy is based on the concept that students – especially those in need of extra guidance – placed in small classes in challenging settings respond to real-world applications of academics and the ‘work world’ far more readily than they do in traditional classrooms.

The SunTrust Foundation’s mission is to provide monetary support to nonprofit organizations and institutions engaged in activities promoting education, health and human services, culture and art, and civic and community involvement that contribute to the social and economic development primarily in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic.