EDINBORO, Pa. – The Edinboro University Institute of Financial Literacy and Personal Finance Planning was formed this spring with a simple goal: to increase financial literacy and self-sufficiency in the region through education, tax-preparation assistance and long-term financial planning. The Institute is now one step closer to realizing its mission, having enlisted Edinboro alumna Shannon Rohrich to spearhead the development of the project.
Rohrich’s position is administered through an AmeriCorps VISTA grant obtained through the University’s Community Outreach Program. This position is part of the Lake Effect Leaders project, a collaborative effort of Edinboro University, Allegheny College, Gannon University and Mercyhurst University that supports 15 VISTA members and two VISTA leaders who serve throughout Erie and Crawford counties on individual projects.
The Munroe Falls, Ohio, native, who graduated from Edinboro in May with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, will play a key role in creating the infrastructure for the Institute. Rohrich’s position has a one-year term of service and begins Aug. 24.
Working with the Dean’s office and faculty in the School of Business, Rohrich will act as a liaison between the Institute and the community, reaching out to low-income individuals regarding the Institute’s services. This includes assisting in developing a sustainable method of scheduling and training volunteers for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA), a program developed by United Way of Erie County that provides low-income families with free tax preparation and filing services at sites staffed by volunteers.
In addition, she will work with area schools and organizations to coordinate financial literacy seminars, covering topics such as balancing a checkbook, budgeting, saving for college and navigating the financial aid/student loan system, for students in kindergarten through grade 12.
Another of Rohrich’s projects will include assisting in grant-seeking opportunities to expand the Institute and ensure its continued outreach to the community. Her focus will be on the formation of a proposed financial planning clinic, which would provide counseling and advisement on things like savings and debt-reduction plans to individuals experiencing financial hardship.
During her years as a student at Edinboro, Rohrich was a star player on the university’s lacrosse team, setting numerous records during her senior season, including the most points and most goals scored in school history, and was named to the 2013 Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference All-Conference third team, making her only the second Edinboro women's lacrosse player to earn All-PSAC honors.
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