June 14, 2016 – Empowering the Next Generation by Investing in Financial Literacy

The high cost of living in Orange County is roughly 46% greater than the national average.  Over the past decade, local job growth has been led by low-paying service sector jobs that often don’t include comprehensive health insurance and other benefits. This leaves many families in our community walking a financial tightrope.

  • 1 in 4 of Orange County residents live in poverty
  • More than one-third of our neighborhoods are financially unstable
  • A minimum-wage worker must work 110 hours per week to afford a one-bedroom unit at fair market rent in Orange County

Getting more families on the road to becoming financially independent is the driving force behind the creation of United Way’s SparkPoint OC—one-stop financial empowerment centers to help hard working, low-income residents gain free access to personal financial coaching and resources here in Orange County.

SparkPoint OC Financial Empowerment Centers help families create step-by-step personal finance plans to tackle their specific needs (Watch video). Working with coaches one-on-one, attainable goal-setting plans are created in three key areas:

  • Increasing income—free tax prep and tax credits, accessing public assistance, job training and placement
  • Managing credit—improving credit scores, managing debt, creating sustainable household budgets
  • Building assets—savings and asset planning to help families reach goals like buying a home or paying for college

Join us for a lunchtime program at the Center Club to hear from these experts on the progress being made in Orange County to help reduce the percentage of financially unstable families by 25% by 2024.  Discover how other funders are investing in financial programs that are making a difference. 

This is a client friendly event.  Please bring a guest to learn how philanthropy can make a collective impact within our community.

Featured Panelists:


Max L. Gardner, President and CEO of Orange County United Way, leads the 91-year-old health and human services organization toward improving lives and strengthening Orange County by ensuring that local children and families have quality education, sustainable income, good health and stable housing—the cornerstones for individual success and community prosperity.


Carla Vargas, Senior Vice President of Community Impact, spent 24 months working with United Way’s Board of Directors and community stakeholders on an extensive strategic planning and community engagement process to develop 10-year community-level change goals for Orange County in the areas of Education, Income, Health and Housing and a 10-year strategic plan called “FACE 2024” based on the model of “Collective Impact.”


Leslie Aguilar, Program Director at Abrazar-SparkPoint OC, heads a financial empowerment center designed to spark new hope for Orange County individuals and families by providing a community of financial resources to improve their overall quality of life.

Lucy Dunn, President & CEO of the Orange County Business Council, represents the leading voice of business on important issues locally, regionally and nationally. The organization works to enhance Orange County’s economic development and prosperity to preserve a high quality of life.
(Watch video)

Event Information

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

11:30 am – 1:15 pm

The Center Club
650 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, CA
Parking is complimentary

Sponsor a Table with Premium Seating (8 seats): $400

Members: $40 • First-Time Attendees: $50 • Regular Guests: $60

Please register by Friday, June 10, 2016

The event is finished.