Mission SF Community Financial Center, in partnership with San Francisco’s Office of Financial Empowerment and the Department of Children, Youth and Their Families, invites youth agencies in San Francisco to apply to participate in our nationally-recognized Make Your Path (MY Path™ youth savings and banking program. As a result of new grant support from the Center for Financial Services Innovation, Mission SF will be significantly expanding our MY Path™ program by selecting up to 20 new partner sites across the city.
MY Path Benefits for Organizations and Youth Participants
• Enrollment in the MY Path Restricted Savings Account, a youth-owned account with a $5 minimum balance requirement, restricted for the duration of your program to provide youth with a structured savings opportunity. Youth that do not have a standard bank account can open a second account tied to an ATM card or a debit card if they are 18.
• Support and technical assistance to establish direct deposit if your organization does not already have it in place for youth payments.
• MY Path Train-the-Trainer for Site Staff and 2-3 Youth Leaders to build their capacity to provide support to youth participants to set and meet personal MY Path™ Savings Goals.
• Ongoing technical assistance for staff to implement the MY Path program milestones.
• Up to $160 in incentives per youth for taking key financial steps, including setting and meeting a MY Path Savings Goal.
• Increased financial knowledge, positive financial behaviors and sense of control over their money for youth participants, as demonstrated in external evaluation data from MY Path™ pilot sites.
• Significant personal savings—up to 35% of wages/stipends earned, an average of $507 over a six‐month period. Including incentives, each youth had accumulated an average of $735 as demonstrated in external evaluation data from MY Path pilot sites.
For more details about MY Path and its powerful results from a 2011-12 pilot with the Mayor’s Youth Employment and Education Program (MYEEP), please read “Increasing Financial Capability among Economically Vulnerable Youth,” which was written by Mission SF, Eastern Washington University and the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
Components of the MY Path™ Program
Drawing on lessons from our youth models over the years—the Youth Credit Union Program, Youth Trainers for Economic Power and PLAY—the MY Path program is an incentivized youth savings program that familiarizes participants with basic banking skills and valuable financial concepts such as budgeting, saving and tracking expenses. MY Path has 5 key components:
1. Engagement with financial mainstream – in order steer youth participants away from check cashers and to promote saving, all participants are given MY Path savings accounts, a second credit union account if they need it, and training to use them.
2. Power of peers – the MY Path financial education curriculum is designed in partnership with youth, and delivered by youth from your site.
3. Goal-setting – all MY Path participants are supported to set short and medium term savings goals, which are linked to their personal goals.
4. Rewarding Behavior Change – all MY Path participants receive cash bonuses as a reward for engaging in positive money management habits such as budgeting and tracking their expenses, and for meeting their MY Path savings goals.
5. Making saving easy and automatic – all MY Path participants are automatically enrolled in MY Path restricted savings accounts and direct deposit, so their ‘default’ is to save a certain percentage of their stipends or wages.
MY Path 2013-15 Expansion: Up to 20 New MY Path Sites
With generous funding from the Center for Financial Services Innovation, Mission SF is selecting 15-20 new sites to participate in the MY Path Program free of charge. All selected sites will receive MY Path restricted savings accounts for all youth enrolled in their program, as well as a second credit union account for those youth that need it; a $100 savings match per youth when they meet their personal MY Path savings goals; and technical assistance in establishing direct deposit for youth payments. In addition, some agencies will receive access to online financial capability curriculum and $60 more in incentives per youth to support them in saving, budgeting, and tracking expenses. MY Path will be rolled out in two Phases; those youth programs selected for participation in the MY Path Program may receive services in either Phase I, which will begin in fall 2013, or Phase II, which will begin in fall 2014.
MY Path Site Requirements
To be considered for the MY Path program, sites must have the following characteristics:
1. Have a program cycle that lasts at least 10 weeks.
2. Pay youth participants at least five payments per program cycle (stipends or wages).
3. Have direct deposit for youth payments or willingness to establish direct deposit.
4. Have experience with tracking and collecting evaluation data.
5. Willingness to participate in conference calls with Mission SF to receive ongoing training and technical assistance.
6. Ability to devote one staff person as MY Path point person (up to .10 FTE) and 2-3 youth leaders to serve as MY Path Coaches. Mission SF will provide stipends for Coaches.
7. Have site staff participate in a 4-5 hour Train-the-Trainer, and 2-3 youth leaders participate in a 4-5 hour Train-the-Trainer.
8. Willingness to participate in either Phase I (fall 2013) or Phase II (fall 2014).
The MY Path Anticipated Timeline
May 30 – MY Path Bidder’s Conference from 11:00-12:00 pm and 2:00-3:00 pm at the 8th floor Conference Room at 1155 Market St. Register for 11:00-12:00 here, and the 2:00-3:00 here. We will also hold a Conference Call (1-877-213-9444, ID# 689399) at those same times. Register for the 11:00-12:00 call here, and the 2:00-3:00 call here.
June 7 – Proposals due
June 21 – Sites Selected, Technical Assistance for establishing direct deposit begins
July 24 – Trainings for site coordinators and youth leaders on MY Path Program begin
September – Launch of Phase I
Questions? Contact Us
If you have any questions about the application process or would like to learn more, please write Margaret Libby, Mission SF Executive Director, or Vishnu Sridharan, MY Path Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us at 415-206-0846.
The MY Path™ Program is supported by a grant from CFSI's Financial Capability Innovation Fund II, as well as Citi Foundation; the Department of Children, Youth and their Families; Friedman Family Foundation; Walter and Elise Haas Fund; Charles Schwab Bank; Charles Schwab Foundation; and U.S. Bank.