This month, First Boulevard — a digitally native neobank building generational wealth for Black America — announced a joint initiative with actor, and media personality, Terrence J, who is their Strategic Advisor of Financial Education. Together, they will empower HBCU students through financial literacy efforts.
According to a press release shared with AfroTech, the two entities have joined forces to kick off Project Tassels — 1,000 students, 1,000 degrees, 1,000 new outlooks on life. The new financial education initiative — also being spearheaded by Terrence J — aims to educate HBCU students about various finance topics, including credit scores, student loans, credit cards, life off-campus and the importance of budgeting and savings, through a video series.
Simply put, First Boulevard describes Project Tassels as a program that’s helping “1,000 Black students reclaim their stranded credits” — which is the case when a student earns college course credits but cannot claim them due to an unpaid tuition balance. These credits are then used as collateral that prevent students from obtaining their degrees and also leaves them responsible for thousands of dollars in student loan debt.
As First Boulevard’s Strategic Advisor of Financial Education, Terrence J will be fostering relationships with participating HBCUs to help the neobank identify students in good academic standing with stranded credits and unpaid balances.
Terrence J — who is also a product of an HBCU — wants to use his knowledge of wealth to pay it forward and help these young adults find their footing before entering the real world as post-graduates.
“I wasn’t entirely knowledgeable about the importance of financial literacy while attending North Carolina A&T State University, or even at the beginning of my career,” he said in a press statement. “Had I known then what I know now about wealth building, I would’ve taken small steps to better manage my finances sooner. With Project Tassels, helping 1,000 students get the degree they’ve earned will add an additional $1B to circulate within the Black community. It’s a great start, but to really change the game, I’m challenging other organizations to join us.”
First Boulevard President and CEO Donald Hawkins spoke about Terrence J’s new role with the company and how it will help leverage this program to connect with these HBCU students.
“Terrence J has shown a commitment to the advancement of Black America’s youth for years and we couldn’t be more excited to add him to our growing team of advisors and partners. Through his work with Project Tassels, Terrence J will help over 1,000 people gain a new lease on life and with a focus on financial education, he’ll also make a significant impact on HBCU students by providing modern day financial tips to avoid the debt trap and reach their goals.”
First Boulevard’s overall mission is to build up generational wealth for Black communities, with a particular focus on HBCU students as they are the future. Through this initiative, the neobank will be able to plant a seed other companies can use to help spread this message of financial literacy across the country and uplift Black America as a whole.
For more information about First Boulevard, visit its website.
Editorial Note: This piece has been updated since initially published.