Together we are strengthening Skagit communities


The Financial PEOPLE Project (FPP) is “Peers Empowering Others by Providing Leadership and Education.” FPP was an IDEA born out of the Skagit Asset Building Coalition. Spearheaded by the United Way of Skagit County, peer led financial education sessions are regularly held with groups of low to moderate income individuals and families.

Since 2017, 106 or 72% of participants and 15 peer leaders have graduated from the Skagit Financial PEOPLE Project 

Now – YOU have the chance to gain useable skills in facilitation, conflict resolution, as well as financial stability.

Financial PEOPLE Project Class

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Final Report 2019

We had an exciting year and thanks to YOU, our program has grown!

In 2019, seven six-week financial education sessions were held in the community.

Five new peer leaders were trained and 42 individuals received a Skagit Asset Building Coalition Certificate. We welcomed groups at Skagit Valley College and Mount Vernon School District, and continued to serve students at Head Start and Habitat for Humanity. 

The connection with SVC is particularly noteworthy.  Participants in Financial PEOPLE Project sessions can now receive high school completion credits from SVC that apply toward a high school diploma.

We couldn’t do this without help from expert financial educators and partners.

The FPP includes two stages:


Stage 1 – Volunteer Peer Leaders participate in 22 hours of training where they learn key financial concepts designed to stabilize low-to-moderate income families and individuals. In addition to learning about resource navigation, public speaking, and group facilitation, Peer Leaders take a deep dive into 10 financial topics.

Stage 2 – Peer Leaders teach free Group Sessions in the community. Group Session participants learn about key financial tools, receive introductions to responsible financial services, and practice skills in a supportive “no-judgement” environment. Students who finish the Group Sessions receive a Skagit Asset Building Coalition Certificate.

For six consecutive weeks staff from local banks and credit unions present FDIC Money Smart lessons to students. Peer Leaders and group session participants learn about: Budgeting and Debt Reduction, Loans, Saving for Retirement and Education, Credit Scores and Credit Repair, Bank Services and Checking Accounts.

Since 2017, ten peer leaders have been trained to guide students on how to access responsible financial services. Thirty-seven students from Community Action of Skagit County, Goodwill Mount Vernon Job Training and Education Center, Skagit/Island Head Start, Skagit Habitat for Humanity, and Young Lives have graduated and received a Skagit Asset Building Coalition certificate.

Organizations who assist with financial education instruction incude: North Coast Credit Union, Skagit Bank, Washington Federal, U.S. Bank, Opus Bank, Banner Bank, Northwest Agricultural Business Center, Key Bank and Bank of the Pacific.

Financial empowerment is critical to improving the health of low-to-moderate income individuals and families. Together we are strengthening Skagit communities and ultimately creating better prepared children and a brighter future for all.

Rita Ordóñez

FPP Coordinator


We'd love to hear from you - please send us an email and we'll get right back to you.

You can write to us at:

PO Box 451, Burlington WA 98233

© 2020 United Way of Skagit County