Financial Tips

The Links Host Virtual Conversation on Estate Planning Oct. 21


The Miami-Biscayne Bay Chapter of The Links, Incorporated will host an Estate Planning Virtual Conversation designed to educate communities of color on the importance of drafting a will to communicate final wishes and determine inheritance rights to the assets of their estate. A panel of legal and financial experts will share strategies for the process of probate/succession assets and property, ways to protect the legacy of land/home ownership and financial planning. The panelists are Marva Wiley, Esq., Vernita Williams-Eganti, Esq., and Amy Dawkins, Financial Advisor. 

Virtual Conversation on Estate Planning: How to Create Generation Wealth

Thursday, October 21, 2021 at 6:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m.

Multiple Platforms: Zoom and Facebook

The entire community is invited to attend this free virtual event, but register in advance at:

Miami-Dade County Libraries to be Used for Pick up and Drop Off of Unemployment Applications


Miami-Dade Public Library System to provide Reemployment Assistance Applications at 26 library locations

Printed copies will be available in English, Spanish and Creole

MIAMI ( April 06, 2020 ) — 

In an effort to help Miami-Dade County residents applying for state unemployment benefits, especially those who do not have computers at home, the Miami-Dade Public Library System (MDPLS) will be providing printed copies of Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) Reemployment Assistance Applications at 26 library locations beginning Wednesday, April 8.

Unemployment applications in English, Spanish and Creole and envelopes to return them in will be available for pickup at tables outside the library entrances from 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. seven days a week until further notice. Residents can take the application home to fill out and then return it in the sealed envelope by dropping it off in the library location’s book drop or at any CareerSource South Florida location. Applications will be picked up from the book drops every day and delivered to CareerSource South Florida where trained staff will send them securely overnight to DEO in Tallahassee for processing. Residents can also download and print a copy of the application from DEO's website and return it to any participating library’s book drop.

MDPLS will be practicing social distancing at the library sites, with informational signage and markings on the ground spaced six feet apart.

The following are the 26 library locations where residents can pick up an application:

  • Allapattah Branch
    1799 NW 35 Street
    Miami, FL 33142

  • Arcola Lakes Branch
    8240 NW 7 Avenue
    Miami, FL 33150

  • California Club Branch
    700 Ives Dairy Road
    Miami, FL 33179

  • Coconut Grove Branch
    2875 McFarlane Road
    Miami, FL 33133

  • Concord Branch
    3882 SW 112 Avenue
    Miami, FL 33165

  • Coral Reef Branch
    9211 SW 152 Street
    Miami, FL 33157

  • Country Walk Branch
    15433 SW 137 Avenue
    Miami, FL 33177

  • Edison Center Branch
    531 NW 62 Street
    Miami, FL 33150

  • Fairlawn Branch
    6376 SW 8 Street
    West Miami, FL 33144

  • Golden Glades Branch
    100 NE 166 Street
    Miami, FL 33162

  • Hialeah Gardens Branch
    11300 NW 87 Court
    Hialeah Gardens, FL 33018

  • Hispanic Branch Library
    1398 SW 1 Street
    Miami, FL 33135

  • Homestead Branch
    700 N. Homestead Boulevard
    Homestead, FL 33030

  • International Mall Branch
    10315 NW 12 Street
    Doral, FL 33172

  • Kendale Lakes Branch
    15205 SW 88 Street
    Miami, FL 33196

  • Miami Beach Regional Library
    227 22nd Street
    Miami Beach, FL 33139

  • Miami Lakes Branch
    6699 Windmill Gate Road
    Miami Lakes, FL 33014

  • Naranja Branch
    14850 SW 280 Street
    Miami, FL 33032

  • North Dade Regional Library
    2455 NW 183 Street
    Miami Gardens, FL 33056

  • North Shore Branch
    7501 Collins Avenue
    Miami Beach, FL 33141

  • Northeast Dade - Aventura Branch
    2930 Aventura Boulevard
    Aventura, FL 33180

  • Palm Springs North Branch
    17601 NW 78 Avenue
    Hialeah, FL 33015

  • South Miami Branch
    6000 Sunset Drive
    Miami, FL 33143

  • West Dade Regional Library
    9445 Coral Way
    Miami, FL 33165

  • West Flagler Branch
    5050 West Flagler Street
    Miami, FL 33134

  • West Kendall Regional Library
    10201 Hammocks Boulevard
    Miami, FL 33196

Residents may also call 305-375-2665 to find their nearest library location providing the printed applications. CareerSource South Florida is available to provide assistance with completing the application by calling 305-929-1547.

For the latest COVID-19 updates, information and resources, visit

$1.1M Available to Black-Owned Businesses in Florida. Come Out Thursday, August 23 to See If Your Business Qualifies

Community Outreach Flyer_FAMU Credit Union08232018

Thanks to a $1.1 million grant included in last year’s budget,   black-owned businesses across the state can now apply for a loan through a program administered by the Florida A&M University Federal Credit Union in partnership with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

Locally, the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) and Florida A&M University Federal Credit Union will present LOANS AND LENDING FOR BLACK BUSINESS OWNERS, 6:30pm-8:00pm, Thursday, August 23, 2018, St. Paul AME Church, V.F. Mitchell Fellowship Hall, 1866 NW 51 Terrace, Miami, FL 33142. 

“The MDCPS Office of Economic Opportunity is excited to partner with the FAMU Federal Credit Union and provide meaningful information on loans and lending to local black businesses,” said Torey Alston, head of OEO for Miami-Dade County Public Schools.

Learn more about the application process and requirements to access these funds. The event is FREE to attend. You may RSVP at Please share this information with your networks.


Va-va signature with butterflies



The White House Initiative On Educational Excellence For Hispanics Announces ¡Gradúate! A Financial Aid Guide To Success


MAY 2, 2014

The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics (WHIEEH) has announced the release of "¡Gradúate! A Financial Aid Guide to Success" to help support Hispanic students in their efforts to enroll and afford a postsecondary education.

The guide, available in English and Spanish, includes recommendations on how to prepare a college application, helpful tips on how to choose the right college, and types of financing options, including resources for students granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and non-U.S. citizen students.

Determined to help the country reach the President's 2020 goal, the Initiative has prioritized college access among Hispanics as a key issue. Recent research indicates that the national Hispanic high school graduation rate is at 76 percent—an all-time high. Additionally, a record 69 percent of Hispanic high school graduates in the class of 2012 enrolled in college that fall, two percentage points higher than the rate (67 percent) of their white counterparts, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of new data from the U.S. Census Bureau. The dropout rate for Hispanic students has also been cut in half. Despite these tremendous gains, only 15 percent of Latino adults hold a bachelor's degree. A significant barrier for Hispanic postsecondary attainment is a financial one.

"We developed the guide in response to feedback that we received directly from students and parents across the country. Our goal is to continue providing the Latino community with the resources and tools they need to be successful from cradle to career." said Alejandra Ceja, executive director of the WHIEEH.

Access the guide online at The guide will also be housed on the U.S. Department of Education's new online resource page designed to help the immigrant community navigate the U.S. educational system.

In order to improve opportunities for Hispanic students, President Obama signed Executive Order 13555 on Oct. 19, 2010, renewing the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. This executive order demonstrates the president's strong support for the critical role Hispanics play in the overall prosperity of the nation and highlights the administration's commitment to expanding educational opportunities and improving educational outcomes for all students.



Monthly Financial Tip: Giving Up a Few Things to Get More in Return

Lisa Rogers-Cherry pic

by Lisa Rogers Cherry
I am constantly searching for ways to save money.  Since it’s the Lenten Season, my Mom, some friends and I have decided to give up a few things. During Lent, I am only drinking water, I am not eating certain protein items, nor dairy products during the week.  It’s amazing how much money I have saved, how much energy I have gained, and surprisingly, I have even lost a few pounds in the process.  Even if you are not the most religious person in the world, I am sure that you can think of at least one thing that you can give up between now and Easter that can save you a few dollars along the way.  

Lisa Rogers-Cherry is the author of Lifting the Burdens of Debt: A Helpful Guide to Getting Your Debts Paid and Your Life Back on Track (2005; $14.95). Lisa writes monthly financial tips and writes articles for various newpapers and magazines. If you have a question or for more information go to, e-mail her at [email protected], or write Lisa Rogers-Cherry, Red Pen Press, P. O. Box 1196, Dania Beach, FL 33004.

October's Financial Tip by Lisa Rogers-Cherry

Don’t spend money just to de-stress.  I used to spend money just to wind down from a stressful day at work. Instead, I’ve found that I quite often feel much better by talking a quiet walk around my neighborhood, picking up my journal or taking 20 minutes to sit and meditate. I end up feeling much more together, happy, and ready to face an evening with the kids in the right mindset than I ever would by just blowing some cash after work on something that I probably didn't really need anyway. Instead of spending to de-stress, try some basic meditation techniques, stretching, or yoga and see how you feel.


Lisa'spic_pdf[1]Lisa Rogers-Cherry is the author of Lifting the Burdens of Debt:  A Helpful Guide to Getting Your Debts Paid and Your Life Back on Track (2005; $14.95). Lisa writes monthly financial tips for and writes articles for various newpapers and magazines.  If you have a question or for more information go to, e-mail her at [email protected], or write Lisa Rogers-Cherry, Red Pen Press, P. O. Box 1196, Dania Beach, FL 33004.


July's Financial Tip: Five Ways to Save Money in the Summer

by Lisa Rogers-Cherry


It's summer time and the living is easy...or so they say. Here are five ways to save money during the summer months:

1.  Cut your lawn yourself. Generally it rains more in the summer which means that your grass will grow faster. By cutting your own lawn you save money and get some exercise.

2. Instead of using the stove, fire up the grill outside. Invite some friends over and tell them to bring something along.

3. Lower your electricity bill by hanging your laundry outside, instead of using the clothes dryer.

4. Replace your air conditioner filters, that way your AC unit doesn't have to work as hard.

5. Instead of buying pricey drinks, try drinking water only. It's healthier and cheaper.


Lisa Rogers-Cherry is the author of Lifting the Burdens of Debt:  A Helpful Guide to Getting Your Debts Paid and Your Life Back on Track (2005; $14.95). Lisa writes monthly financial tips for and writes articles for various newpapers and magazines. If you have a question or for more information go to, e-mail her at [email protected], or write Lisa Rogers-Cherry, Red Pen Press, P.O. Box 1196, Dania Beach, FL 33004.


April’s Financial Tip: Is FREE really free?

by Lisa Rogers-Cherry




Make sure that free checking at your bank is really FREE. Although many banks offer free checking, some banks tack on all kinds of fees and costs when you look closely at your statement. Carefully review your monthly bank statement and make sure that you are NOT paying a fee for: not maintaining a minimum balance; overdraft fees; ATM fees; or fees for paying your bills online.  If you can’t get your bank to waive these fees, then switching banks might be your best option.


Lisa Rogers-Cherry is the author of Lifting the Burdens of Debt:  A Helpful Guide to Getting Your Debts Paid and Your Life Back on Track (2005; $14.95). Lisa writes monthly financial tips for and writes articles for various newpapers and magazines.  If you have a question or for more information go to, e-mail her at [email protected], or write Lisa Rogers-Cherry, Red Pen Press, P. O. Box 1196, Dania Beach, FL 33004.


March Financial Tip: It's Spring Cleaning Time!


by Lisa Rogers-Cherry

It's time to do some Spring cleaning. After cleaning out the house, take a few minutes to review your bills to make sure that you're getting the best deals possible. I recently called my cell phone carrier and found a new plan that saves me about $50. per month. Now I'm making a list and checking every bill and bank statement to make sure that I am getting the biggest bang for my buck.

Lisa Rogers-Cherry is the author of Lifting the Burdens of Debt: A Helpful Guide to Getting Your Debts Paid and Your Life Back on Track (2005; $14.95). Lisa writes monthly financial tips for and writes articles for various newpapers and magazines. If you have a question or for more information go to, e-mail her at [email protected], or write Lisa Rogers-Cherry, Red Pen Press, P. O. Box 1196, Dania Beach, FL 33004.

Student Financial Aid Assistance and Action in Miami-Dade


Student Financial Aid Assistance and Action in Miami-Dade


February 6-12, 2011 has been designated Financial Aid Awareness Week in Miami-Dade County and in a number of other communities around the U.S.  Catalyst Miami (formerly the Human Services Coalition) is helping to lead this initiative, which is part of Financial Aid U, a national effort to provide low-income students and their families with the information and assistance that they need to access financial aid resources to help them pay for college.  


Now in its third year, Financial Aid U, run by the National Community Tax Coalition (NCTC) with support from the Citi Foundation, has assisted students in receiving $10.7 million in federal assistance and an additional $4.3 million in low-interest student loans in order to enable them to afford post-secondary education. This year Financial Aid U has expanded to 10 of the largest markets in the United States.

Studies have shown that higher education consistently leads to higher levels of employment and wages for graduates of two - to four-year colleges compared to high school graduates. Among full-time workers, students graduating with a four-year degree earn 74 percent more than high school graduates.  


Even in this time of high unemployment, companies are struggling to find the qualified and trained workers that they need, which is one of the reasons that President Obama has made college completion for more Americans a priority for America to remain competitive in the global marketplace.  


However, this bridge to financial stability is beyond the reach of low-income high school graduates and older students who lack awareness of and access to federal, state and institutional aid programs to pay for the growing cost of college.

In the past five years, college costs have increased by almost 40 percent. According to the College Board, a coalition of higher education institutions across the country, public and private institutions raised tuition in 2009 at an average rate of 6.5 percent and 4.4 percent, respectively.  These increases in college costs far exceeded the one percent growth in median family income from 2008-2009.  


But there is help available and Catalyst Miami's Prosperity Campaign is providing help county-wide. The first step is for prospective students to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Financial Aid, or FAFSA, form. The FAFSA is a complex document that often keeps students who most need this funding from receiving it.  Yet students who fill out the FAFSA form are 50 percent more likely to attend college.  


Most of the information to complete the FAFSA comes from the student's or his or her parents' income tax returns.  Fortunately, our financial coaches at Catalyst Miami's Prosperity Campaign have been assisting low-income individuals file their income tax returns for nine years.  We are now using that information to help our clients complete the FAFSA as early as possible in the year as some federal and state financial aid is allotted on a first come, first served basis.


This week we will provide services at sites throughout Miami-Dade in partnership with local government agencies, Miami Dade College and a network of area nonprofits. We are also part of the College Goal Sunday on February 20 with six locations throughout the County.


This is the time for our elected leaders, community-based organizations, schools and government agencies to come together and raise awareness about the financial aid support services that are already in place.  Working together, we can help give students and families the assistance they need to attain college degrees for a brighter future for themselves, our state and our country. Visit our website to learn about ways you can help: and


Francoise Penha

Prosperity Director,

Catalyst Miami