Cathay Bank Volunteers Teach the Basics of Budgeting, Saving and Banks at Rio Hondo Elementary School


By James Chen

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photo_4Even with this year’s erratic Spring temperatures, April is a month to celebrate for Angelinos, banks and Banking on Our Future programming due to the designation of Financial Literacy Month.

On April 11, a group of 17 Cathay Bank volunteers were invited to Rio Hondo Elementary school so that students from 4th through 8th grade could learn the basic concepts of budgeting, saving, and bank products and services. Students were engaged and learned a life skill, while meeting role models from within their community, and all the while, having fun and laughing along the way.

Following the event, Principal Bettger remarked, “Today was simply wonderful. On behalf of our entire staff, I thank you and your team for the Banking Basics presentations. Our students and teachers were thrilled and are already asking if we’re going to have the program again next year! We are always looking for opportunities to bring our community into our classrooms, and the Cathay Bank team provided an insightful and invaluable resource for our school.”

photo_2Volunteers for Banking on Our Future events often teach and then return to their daily work duties without any desire to receive praise or accolade. However, it is always good to hear about their experience and we were able to capture that of one volunteer that day. “Providing financial literacy to our youth is a very fulfilling experience. I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to teach the kids about banking and being financially responsible. Best of all, it was just fun.” – Howard Hung, VP Mortgage Sales Manager.

Lastly, I have the honor of working with Nancy Morikawa, CRA Analysis Officer of Cathay Bank, on the programmatic end and I have to admit, I am very fortunate to have her as an advocate and Champion of Banking on Our Future. Her ability to recruit Cathay Bank employees to volunteer is only overshadowed by her endless amounts of patience through the many changes that can occur leading up to and event. “It is always a pleasure to work with Operation HOPE to help share the importance of Financial Literacy. The BOOF program is perfectly geared towards the right level of the students and includes easy instructions for our new volunteers to follow through. Thank you for providing us with a chance to help make a difference in these students’ lives.” To this, I thank Principal Bettger and his staff, Howard Hung and his fellow volunteers that day, and Nancy Morikawa.

Volunteers from Cathay Bank:

Angela Chang

VP, Manager, Real Estate Properties

Bing Ni

Officer Trainee

Dan Rose

AVP, Sr Operational Auditor

Deannie Wong

Operations Officer Diamond Bar Branch

Gwen Wimmer

Traning Officer

Howard Tung

VP, Mortgage Sales Manager

Kenny Tang

AVP, Facilities Services, Safety & ADA Compliance Mgr.

Kriston Sin

Rowland Heights Branch Staff

Kyle Zhang

Officer Trainee

Maria Huang

VP, Internal Audit Manager

Melanie Lee

Loan Clerk, Corporate RE & Consruction

Mona Lu

VP, SOX Compliance Manager

Patrick Cheung

AVP, Mortgage Loan Originator

Peter Chiu

Arcadia Branch Staff

Peter Lin

Officer Trainee

San Chen

Alhambra Branch Staff

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