As a first-generation immigrant, I had to learn to navigate the U.S. financial system quickly in a short period of time. This first-hand experience gave me a valuable perspective on the connection between having a financial identity and achieving financial success in this country. Banking access is a crucial step on the path to financial prosperity, because only within the financial mainstream can individuals build savings, credit, and assets. Knowing the value of financial inclusion, I was thrilled to join the first Bank On Fellowship cohort, leading the Bank On Suncoast Coalition full-time in West Central Florida. My work has shown just how important a full-time leader is to banking access success.

The first step of banking access expansion is to improve the checking account marketplace for the unbanked. Bank On Suncoast Coalition hosts financial institution roundtables to introduce the Bank On National Account Standards and kickstart account certification conversations with financial institutions.