Serving the Underserved So That They Might Help Themselves

The Bold Goals Coalition’s Financial Services Network (FSN) partners with eight nonprofit financial service providers to help people in Central Alabama achieve financial stability. During the next several months, these messages will feature members of the FSN Steering Committee as they highlight these partners’ incredible work, and offer their perspectives on the impact of the FSN.

DePriest Waddy is Executive Director of JCCEO.

This month, DePriest Waddy, Executive Director of the Jefferson County Committee for Economic Opportunity (JCCEO), shared his thoughts on the value of diverse organizations from all sectors working together toward common goals for the good of the community. “With the support of federal and local government stakeholders; other community service providers; public, private and faith-based organizations; local schools and health institutions, JCCEO provides a network of services and support for Jefferson County children and their families throughout the year, helping them meet critical needs and prepare for a better future,” he said. The future, to a large degree, depends on children’s skills development for school-readiness, as well as parents’ pursuit of college degrees and technical certifications, which are key areas of focus for JCCEO – and vital steps toward long-term financial stability.

Recognizing the importance of creating sustainable supportive services in underserved communities, Mr. Waddy has dedicated most of his career to empowering individuals and families as they progress toward financial stability. (He credits his early experience as a Loaned Executive with United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta for opening his eyes and heart to the needs of the underserved.) “What I found from working with families is that, whether privileged or in need, all parents want their children to be successful,” said Mr. Waddy. “Unfortunately, access to tools and resources are not balanced, and some parents and families need more help than others.”

To ensure that all families have access to the resources they need to achieve success, Mr. Waddy is taking an active role in the FSN to help transform the way local organizations work together to provide financial services to the community. “Partnering with the FSN is a key strategy to connecting us to more like-minded executives from the non-profit, public and private sectors who care about the underserved and are committed to establishing a footprint where collective strengths are maximized – thus overcoming gaps and challenges in service delivery,” said Mr. Waddy. “Through candid conversations and thorough research, we all share a piece of this puzzle towards self-sufficiency.”