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September 25, 2019 • 
  • News

SAFE Credit Union assists Juma Ventures Sacramento in securing $20,000 grant to help disconnected youths obtain job skills

FOLSOM, Calif. (Sept. 23, 2019) – SAFE Credit Union worked with Juma Ventures Sacramento to secure a $20,000 AHEAD grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco’s AHEAD Program to support Juma’s efforts to secure employment for youths 16-24 from underserved communities.

The AHEAD Program provides grants via its member financial institutions to local community groups providing services that create benefits for low- and moderate-income communities. FHLBank San Francisco awarded $1.5 million in grants to 55 projects in 2019 to promote stability and self-sufficiency in communities in Arizona, California, and Nevada.

“We are thrilled that SAFE Credit Union is using our AHEAD economic grant program to support Juma Ventures in setting disconnected youths on path toward a career and providing the financial tools that will help them manage the money they are earning,” said Marietta Núñez, senior vice president and community investment officer at FHLBank San Francisco. “It is a very thoughtful approach to breaking the cycle of poverty for these young people.”  

Juma Ventures Sacramento will use the AHEAD grant to support its YouthConnect program that provides employment with food concessionaires at Sacramento professional sports facilities for young adults grappling with economic challenges, according to Stephen Norris, development director for Juma Ventures Sacramento. Many of these young people grew up in poverty, have a history with foster care or juvenile justice, and have experienced significant trauma.

“A lot of these young people have been let down by the system and adults during their childhood. They come into our program wary. Many have been out of school and work for over six months, unable to get hired on their own. With Juma, they learn the next day they’ve been hired,” Norris said. “For these young folks they’re immediately jumping into a job, working with peers in an exciting environment. They get to feel that energy and get paid at the same time.”

The part-time jobs during evenings and weekends allow Juma participants the time to pursue education or additional employment. Most of the participants use the skills and connections they gain during the program to find another job after their time with Juma, Norris said.


Alongside the job, Juma employs its YouthConnect model of EARN, LEARN, and CONNECT, providing in-depth trainings around financial capability, work readiness, connections to higher education, and employment to prepare young people for their next steps towards economic empowerment and career advancement.

“At Juma, we like to say, ‘It starts with a job’ but it doesn’t end there,” Norris said. He noted that Juma works with SAFE Credit Union and other financial institutions to provide in-depth financial capability workshops and trainings, and present low/no-fee introductory banking products and incentives to start direct deposit accounts and build savings assets and credit scores.

SAFE Credit Union supports the community by providing more than $300,000 in annual philanthropic efforts that include student scholarships, donations, and sponsorships.

“As a not-for-profit financial institution that works side by side with other nonprofits, SAFE is well aware of the funding challenges community organizations face,” said SAFE Credit Union Community and Advocacy Engagement Manager Amanda Merz. “We are honored to be able to help Juma Ventures Sacramento secure the AHEAD grant to support its efforts to help at-risk young adults take that first step toward their careers.”


About SAFE

SAFE Credit Union has made members an integral part of its vision since 1940. Over the years the credit union has kept the focus on what really matters, putting members first, a formula that has seen SAFE grow into a leading financial institution in Northern California with nearly $3 billion in assets and about 235,000 members. SAFE crafts every cutting-edge product and sterling service with members’ needs foremost in mind. In addition to banking services conveniently available through online, chat, mobile, or phone options, SAFE offers in-person care for members and small businesses at service centers across the Greater Sacramento region and a mortgage lending office serving Contra Costa and Alameda counties. SAFE is a not-for-profit, state-chartered credit union with membership open to businesses and individuals living or working in Sacramento, Placer, Yolo, El Dorado, Sutter, Butte, Nevada, Solano, San Joaquin, Contra Costa, Yuba, Amador, and Alameda counties. Insured by NCUA.

About Juma Sacramento

Juma is a nonprofit social enterprise that operates businesses with the purpose of employing young people. Juma makes sure they earn a paycheck, learn to manage their money and gain essential skills like responsibility, teamwork and how to communicate in the workplace. Ultimately, Juma connects them to their next job and set them on a path to a career.

About FHLBank San Francisco

FHLBank San Francisco is a member-driven cooperative helping local lenders in Arizona, California, and Nevada build strong communities, create opportunity, and change lives for the better. The AHEAD Program enables FHLBank members to give a critical boost to local programs and projects that target pressing needs by creating or preserving jobs, supporting a nonprofit’s organizational and capacity-building activities, or delivering social services, training and education, and other vital services and programs. 


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