One-on-One Money Mentoring
The Florida Master Money Mentor (FMMM) program is a coordinated referral network designed to match mentors trained in increasing financial knowledge and promoting positive financial practices with people needing these skills. Participants in the program receive one-on-one assistance in developing spending plans, organizing financial records, understanding credit, and planning for the future.
Volunteer mentors receive approximately 20 hours of intensive training in basic money management, strategies for dealing with financial problems, credit and debt management, savings, mentoring techniques, and connecting to community resources. Following the training, each volunteer provides financial mentoring for at least 50 hours within one year of completion of training. Anyone is welcome to apply to become a mentor and no previous financial education is needed.
University of Florida IFAS Extension began providing the infrastructure for the program in February 2010 thanks to a gift from Bank of America. Since then 231 mentors have been trained and more than 255 Florida residents have utilized the program’s services in 14 counties. The program continues to expand to areas where it’s needed the most, including rural areas and city centers hit hardest by high unemployment and a high incidence of home foreclosures.
Outside of the Extension network, we have collaborated with agencies such as: United Way of Tampa Bay, South Florida Urban Ministries, United Way of Sarasota County, Children’s Home Society, Hispanic Unity of Florida, All-Purpose Life Skills, Osceola Council on Aging, Children in Crisis Florida, Office of the Attorney General of Florida, Deaf Service Bureau of West Central Florida, and Pinellas County Center for Independent Living.
For more information on whether the program is available in your area, how to become a mentor, or how to be paired with a mentor, contact your local County Extension Office. You can also send an e-mail to FMMM@ifas.ufl.edu or call (352) 273-3499.