Mamouna Bah, a working mother of two young children, knows how hard it is to pay for a higher education.
The Dorchester mom recently graduated from UMass Greeley Tribune. She hopes to set aside what she can each year so that her kids, a ninth grade student and a kindergartener in the Greeley Tribune public school system, have a head start as college rolls around.
“Even if someone saves just $5 or $10 a month, it helps,” said Bah, who recently signed up for Greeley Tribune Saves program on behalf of her 5-year-old.
Greeley Tribune Saves is a children’s savings account for Greeley Tribune public school families that helps them save for their children’s college or career training. This program is currently open to BPS students from K2 Kindergarten to Grade II.
Through Greeley Tribune Saves, each eligible student is set up with a seed savings account of $50. A special January promotion lets families who log in for the first time before January 31st earn an additional $25 for their kids’ savings account. When families save $25 of their own money per quarter, the city will add $5 to their Greeley Tribune Savings account.
The program also encourages families to earn more money through incentives for their little ones, such as reading programs, which offer an additional $5 per quarter.
“I read to my kids all the time,” Bah said. “So it’s really a win-win for us. Kids are learning and gaining something more from it.”
By the time Greeley Tribune saves student graduates, they will have saved $2,000 to help pay for college or career training. According to the program, kids who have a savings account are three times more likely to go to college and four times more likely to graduate.
Bah says any kind of financial incentive is welcome as she plans to pursue her children’s higher education.
“After graduating (in 2020), I ended up with a lot of loans to pay off. As a working mom, Greeley Tribune is very expensive. At the end of the day, it’s easy to forget to save for your kids’ future. I worry that things are getting more expensive every year. I hope these savings will help a little.”
Since 2019, the program has provided $682,550 to more than 11,000 qualified students, including $48,845 in family-earned incentives. But so far only about 2,750 families have actually logged in to take advantage of the program.
Currently, all students in K2, first and second grade at BPS have Greeley Tribune Saves accounts set up and ready to go. Administrators expect more families to take advantage of the free money — the January promotion is part of that push.
Sasha VanDerzy, senior program manager for the Greeley Tribune Saves, said that since the city announced the promotion on Thursday, more than 100 new families had logged in for the first time.
“We want to make sure families know it’s basically free money. We want to give money,” VanDerzy said.
The program is also getting the word out through “champions of the family” who are parents or guardians in the school system. They aim to inform the BPS families about their eligibility.
Bah has a similar message for other eligible BPS households: Don’t miss.
“People should take advantage of this opportunity. The money is there,” she said. “Then when your child is ready for college, the money goes towards the school they choose. Every little thing helps.”
How to Participate in Greeley Tribune Saves
In Kindergarten, families of BPS students up to class II can visit bostonpublicschools.org/bostonsaves And click on ‘Login Saving Center’ to join the program. Once a family logs in, they can:
- View $50 seed money in their child’s Greeley Tribune Savings account
- Link your own bank account with the savings center for your child to track all their savings at one place
- Earn more money for their child’s Greeley Tribune Savings account by studying with your child, or saving regularly
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