Program cooks up skills to teach students to better handle money

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Robert Pittman is part of the Culinary Cornerstones program offered by Episcopal Community Services. The program preps people for a career in the culinary world.

Financial education is a key ingredient to the program. Students like Pittman learn everything from knife skills to saving money.

"I got into trouble with my bills. I started living within my means of life.  I feel I have a very comfortable life now," Pittman said.

Becky Gripp is the Economic Security Coordinator for Catholic Charities.  Gripp meets weekly with students and teaches them how to handle money and improve credit.

"Some of them maybe have not handled their money or not had steady incomes. This is their opportunity," she said.  

Maintaining a good credit score is a struggle for many Americans.  A recent article on CNB Money spells out common mistakes that hurt credit scores like carrying a big credit card balance, making late payments and not having a credit card at all.

Pittman says his credit score was low when he started the culinary program, below 500.  Today, it's improved to over 600. His recipe for financial success is to live within his means. 

"There are ups and downs in life but I have a very positive outlook on life now," Pittman said.

To learn more about financial education programs offered by Catholic Charities of Kansas City /St. Joseph, contact 816-221-4377.

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