Pacific Premier Bank Makes Six-Figure Gift to Empower Youth Through Financial Literacy and Entrepreneurship

Press Release updated: Sep 21, 2017 09:00 EDT

With gratitude, Templo Calvario Community Development Corporation announced that Pacific Premier Bank has made a major gift of $125,000 in benefit of their Banking On Our Youth Financial Literacy and Entrepreneurship Program. The check presentation took place on Sept. 12, 2017, at the Pacific Premier headquarters in Irvine, California. Pacific Premier’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Steven R. Gardner, personally presented the check to Templo Calvario’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Lee de León, and Executive Director of Development, Yanet Gonzalez. The Banking On Our Youth Financial Literacy and Entrepreneurship program is an innovative, high-energy, deep impact approach to educating and giving high school students the opportunity to become financially capable young adults.

This major gift from Pacific Premier is a timely investment in the lives of youth who might otherwise continue to repeat the same financial patterns of those adults around them due to lack of education. 

The Federal Reserve conducted the fourth annual Survey of Household Economics and Decisionmaking in October of 2016. Here are some of the findings:

  • 32 percent of adults say that their income varies to some degree from month to month, and 13 percent struggle to pay bills in some months due to income volatility. 
  • Just under one-fourth of adults are not able to pay all of their current month’s bills in full.
  • 16 million adults — or 7 percent of the overall adult population — are unbanked, meaning they do not have a checking, savings, or money market account.

As many experts in today’s economy point out, financial literacy is key to the well-being of individuals, of families, of communities, and of our country. “When we found out about the Banking on Our Youth Program, we were very excited to support. It’s not the kind of education that our kids receive at school, so it’s important to support and advance this program to help break the cycle of poverty,” said Pacific Premier’s Chairman & CEO Steven R. Gardner. This transformational gift from Pacific Premier Bank will provide high school students the necessary tools and the opportunity to gain knowledge that will determine the course of their future.

This is the second year that Pacific Premier Bank has supported the Banking On Our Youth Program financially. Last year, Pacific Premier employees volunteered over 200 hours through mentoring, instruction time, and an experiential learning field trip, where students had the opportunity to learn from Pacific Premier’s President and Chief Banking Officer, Eddie Wilcox. Mr. Wilcox delivered an impressive lesson on how banks operate, generate revenue and help drive the economy. Students also had the opportunity to visit every department in the bank and learn about the different career opportunities within the banking industry.

Participants in the Banking On Our Youth Program spend the third Saturday of every month learning from the FDIC’s curriculum Money Smart for Young People. Students learn about subjects like credit, savings, investing, banking and budgeting. Students are also paired with a mentor, receive a free tablet and can earn up to $400 that they then use to open a college savings account. During the six-month program, students work in groups to create a business plan with help and guidance from their mentors and the National Start-Up League—a partnering nonprofit who delivers the entrepreneurship curriculum. Students put together a realistic business plan that they then present during a shark-tank type experience. The top three winning groups receive college scholarships totaling $15,000.

Templo Calvario’s President and CEO, Lee de León, expressed a heartfelt thank you during the check presentation. “It’s not just a check that is handed over. It’s an involvement, and we saw that last year. That’s the part that impacted me the most. Pacific Premier’s commitment comes from the heart, and I appreciate that.”

The Banking on Our Youth program is set to begin Oct. 14, 2017, with a program kick-off event and culminate on April 14, 2018, with the entrepreneurship competition and an awards ceremony where students eagerly await to hear the names of the college scholarship recipients.

For more information about the Banking On Our Youth Financial Literacy and Entrepreneurship program, please contact Yanet Gonzalez: [email protected]

About Pacific Premier Bancorp, Inc.

Pacific Premier Bancorp, Inc. is the holding company for Pacific Premier Bank, one of the largest banks headquartered in Southern California with more than $6.4 billion in assets. Pacific Premier Bank is a business bank primarily focused on serving small and middle market businesses in the counties of Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, and Santa Barbara, California. Through its more than 25 depository branches, Pacific Premier Bank offers a diverse range of lending products including commercial, commercial real estate, construction and SBA loans, as well as specialty banking products for homeowners associations and franchise lending nationwide.

About Templo Calvario Community Development Corporation

Templo Calvario Community Development Corporation (TCCDC) is a nonprofit in Santa Ana, California that focuses on empowering and serving families in the areas of education, financial empowerment, parenting training, and the mobilization of the faith community. Each area of service operates different programs in the City of Santa Ana that primarily serve low-income families and individuals. The mission of Templo Calvario CDC is to work with key communities and stakeholders to unite, build, and transform communities.

Templo Calvario CDC Website:

Pacific Premier Bank Website

Templo Calvario CDC Facebook:

Pacific Premier Bank LinkedIn:

Link to article from Federal Reserve:

Yanet Gonzalez
[email protected]
C:714-393-5649 /F: 714-543-2399

Source: Templo Calvario Community Development Corporation

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About the Author: Bob Cooper

Bob Cooper is Canadian Business Tribune''s senior editor. He is also a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist and a bestselling author. He lives in London Ontario and covers the intersection of money, politics and finance. He appears periodically on national television shows and has been published in (among others) The National Post, Politico, The Atlantic, Harper’s,, Vice and He also has served as a journalist and consultant on documentaries for CBC and Global News . In 2014, he was the winner of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers' investigative journalism award, and the winner of the Izzy Award for Journalism from Ithaca College's Park Center for Independent Media. He was also a finalist for UCLA's Gerald R. Loeb Award and Syracuse University's Mirror Award. Before becoming a journalist in 2006, Sirota worked in Washington for, among others, U.S. Rep. Bernie Sanders, the U.S. House Appropriations Committee Minority Staff and the Center for American Progress.