In fall 2014, Ms. Morales became one of the first five APAH residents to graduate from Money Smarts Pay, a three-month financial education course held in partnership with the Virginia Cooperative Extension. The class focuses on budgeting, savings and preparing for unexpected expenses.
“Money Smarts Pay gave me the tools I needed to manage my money wisely,” reflected Ms. Morales. “It opened my eyes to where my money was going.”
“I feel that I am able to save. I am saving for a down payment on a home. As I see savings grow, I feel more confident and secure. I am also teaching my kids about financial literacy.”
Since completing the program, she has shared her own experience and encouraged residents to build financial skills at subsequent Money Smarts Pay orientations and graduation ceremonies.
Ms. Morales, a mother of four, lives at Arlington Mill with her husband and children. She grew up in Fredericksburg and has lived in Arlington for six years. She is a first generation college student working towards her Bachelor’s degree in human services at Old Dominion University, while also working at the financial aid office at NOVA Community College where she has been employed for 10 years.