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Author Archives: WSS News

Essence Partners With Prudential To Present Empower U Financial E-Learning Courses to Help Tackle College Debt, Becoming Financially Savvy

(from left to right): Tai Beauchamp, TV Personality & Lifestyle Expert; Alicia Alston, Vice-President, Global Communications at Prudential Financial; Michelle Ebanks, ESSENCE President; Dani Arps, Interior Designer; Marvet Britto, President and CEO of the Britto Agency; Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche; Dorinda Walker, Director of Consumer Strategy & Key Initiatives Multicultural Marketing, Prudential's U.S. Businesses; ESSENCE Features Editor Lauren Williams. (Photo, Matthew C. Anderson)

(from left to right): Tai Beauchamp, TV Personality & Lifestyle Expert; Alicia Alston, Vice-President, Global Communications at Prudential Financial; Michelle Ebanks, ESSENCE President; Dani Arps, Interior Designer; Marvet Britto, President and CEO of the Britto Agency; Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche; Dorinda Walker, Director of Consumer Strategy & Key Initiatives Multicultural Marketing, Prudential’s U.S. Businesses; ESSENCE Features Editor Lauren Williams. (Photo, Matthew C. Anderson)

ESSENCE, the preeminent brand for African-American women, partnered with Prudential Financial, Inc. to help its audience tackle college debt with the most recent installment of its EmpowerU e-learning series, College Debt: Money Lessons Everyone Should Know. Over 40 million Americans have college debt, but student loans are only one piece of your financial puzzle. Through this course, students not only learned how to gain control over their student loans, but also how to master the rest of their money and lay the foundation for a fiscally sound post-college life.

Each installment of ESSENCE’s EmpowerU e-learning series is led by expert instructors. Last month’s course was led by Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche—an award-winning teacher of financial empowerment, who is quickly becoming America’s favorite financial educator. Aliche addressed important financial-related topics such as debt management and reduction, student loan savviness, credit-building tips and more. This month’s installment, You Can Be Frugal and Fabulous!, will be a personal finance course led by Aisha Taylor. Taylor is a financial consultant, best-selling author, entrepreneur, empowerment coach and founder of FNPhenomenal (Frugal n Phenomenal). This course will teach participants to be smart with their money and stay out of crushing debt while they live and build toward the lifestyle that they really want.

In addition, on Friday, November 6th, ESSENCE and Prudential hosted a panel discussion entitled, “Money + Power: Must-haves for Prosperous Business Women” held at Apella in New York City.  Moderated by ESSENCE Features Editor Lauren Williams, the panel featured leading industry mavens and tastemakers who shared timeless insights with the audience, including: Marvet Britto, President and CEO of the Britto Agency; Tai Beauchamp, TV Personality & Lifestyle Expert; Dani Arps, Interior Designer; and Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche.For more information on the Empower U e-learning series, visit ESSENCEEmpowerU.com.

Watch San Bernardino City Unified Board Meetings Live

SAN BERNARDINO, CA- The San Bernardino City Unified School District Board of Education has joined the growing number of governing boards and agencies that live stream public meetings.

Starting with the November 17 session, the Board of Education will now broadcast its meetings live twice a month, offering stakeholders an opportunity to watch from any device with Internet access. In addition, meetings will be recorded and archived online.

Superintendent Dr. Dale Marsden championed the live broadcasts as a way to improve civic participation.

“This makes our meetings accessible to a larger audience, improving transparency and accountability to our community,” Marsden said. “So much of our work is focused on engaging the public and making sure they’re a part of important decisions and conversations that will shape the future of our community.”

Board of Education meetings will be aired live on the District’s YouTube channel, SanBdoCitySchools. Regularly scheduled school board meetings begin at 5:30 p.m. on the first and third Tuesday of the month.

Increased African-American Enrollment is Key Goal in Year 3 of Affordable Care Act

Many African Americans can receive financial assistance to help them pay for health insurance, Covered California Chief Deputy Executive Director Yolanda Richardson said. Thousands of eligible Californians received an average $5,200 in federal assistance to pay for premiums in 2014.

Many African Americans can receive financial assistance to help them pay for health insurance, Covered California Chief Deputy Executive Director Yolanda Richardson said. Thousands of eligible Californians received an average $5,200 in federal assistance to pay for premiums in 2014.

By Yolanda Richards

Trying to make a 90-day supply of medication helping to control your diabetes last over two years wouldn’t add up for most people. But if you were uninsured, as Kimberly Lenoir-Sanderson once was, you’d learn a new kind of math.

“I’d cut them into threes to make them stretch,” said Lenoir-Sanderson, who resides in Loma Linda. “Some days I wouldn’t take a pill if my blood sugar was normal, but it caused a lot of worry. I didn’t know when my bad days would be, and that was a problem.”

After several false starts that included struggling to enroll online, missing an enrollment deadline and being generally confused about the new health care law, Lenoir-Sanderson finally gained coverage this past August through special enrollment with Covered California, the state agency that administers the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. She now has a Silver plan from Health Net and pays a $364 monthly premium.

“It was a quick process — and easy,” Lenoir-Sanderson said of the person-to-person help she received from a Covered California enrollment counselor. “I paid my premium, and I can start seeing a doctor. I’m a little afraid of seeing a doctor because I haven’t seen one in so long, but knowledge is power.”

Covered California is in the third year of helping millions of Californians gain health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. Open enrollment began Nov. 1, 2015, and continues through Jan. 31, 2016. More than 2 million consumers have been enrolled at one time or another since coverage began in January 2014. Millions more have received care through low-cost or no-cost Medi-Cal.

Still, hundreds of thousands of Californians don’t have insurance — many of whom are African-Americans like Lenoir-Sanderson. With that in mind, Covered California has launched a new marketing and outreach effort to boost African-American enrollment.

The African-American enrollment initiative will emphasize financial assistance available to help consumers pay for insurance coverage. Covered California is targeting specific ZIP codes across the state where higher numbers of uninsured and subsidy-eligible African-Americans live, work, play and pray.

“Changing our state from a culture of coping to a culture of coverage is a long-term proposition,” Covered California Chief Deputy Executive Director Yolanda Richardson said. “We’ve made great progress in helping African-Americans gain the coverage they need and deserve, but we recognize there is much more to be done in proving to the remaining uninsured the value in having health coverage.”

Of 2.7 million Californians eligible to receive financial assistance under the Affordable Care Act, about 5 percent, or 130,000, are African-American, according to a joint study by the University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of California, Berkeley.

Covered California will push enrollment at storefronts in African-American communities where Certified Insurance Agents and Certified Enrollment Counselors will be on hand to assist consumers. With support from Covered California community partners, the agency will sponsor education, outreach and enrollment events at churches on Sundays, at barbershops and hair salons on Saturdays, and at “enrollment block parties” going door-to-door in high-priority African-American neighborhoods.

In addition, enhanced social media and marketing campaigns will be launched to reach African-Americans, and partnerships with local schools, businesses and community-based organizations that serve African-American communities will be expanded.

Nearly 90 percent of Covered California enrollees receive some level of financial assistance to help pay for their premiums, with the average being $5,200 in aid annually.

“We want to stress to African-American consumers that their health and well-being is worth insuring,” Richardson said. “Many Californians are receiving thousands of dollars each year to help with the cost of health insurance premiums — money African-American consumers should not walk away from and leave on the table.”