Jerrell Gray, Super Saver — A Profile

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Jerrell Gray, a former Hope Reichbach Fellow placed at Restoration, is a sophomore at the University of Rochester majoring in Political Science and Urban Studies. He recently joined the ranks of Americans who have gotten serious about saving money. According to a well-known study, 40% of Americans don’t have enough cash on hand to cover a $400 emergency. For millennials (currently aged 22 to 38) that number rises to an alarming 60%. Yet, few high school or college students are taught about personal finance or how to begin adulthood with a sound financial foundation.

In order to focus on his studies Jerrell had to change his spending habits to survive on a mix of scholarships, loans, and help from family. “The advice I received from Restoration’s financial counselling was invaluable,” he says. “I was able to start a budget, get a credit card, and open a savings account.” He even improved his credit score by 35 points.

Since becoming a client of the Economic Solutions Center, Jerrell has worked with a financial counselor to gain the knowledge he needed to make informed decisions. Not only did he receive sound financial advice, he was introduced to tools that could make saving pay off. One of these tools is Saverlife, a program that matches small-scale savings in clients’ bank accounts. Jarrell says, “I saved $120 and Saverlife gave me an extra $60 just for saving! It went straight into my savings account”. Starting small is how many people break the cycle of living paycheck to paycheck. This piece of knowledge inspired Jerrel to grow his savings from $0 to $200 in less time than he thought. “My goal is to save at least $1000 by the end of the school year.”

Jerrell’s advice to his peers, “Be an open book. Be open to critique, be open to help, and take charge of your future. Determination to better your financial situation is key. You too can be a super saver! “ Jerrell’s financial counselor commented: “Jerrell has an impressive level of self-awareness for a young man. One of the pleasures of working with him was that he was very interested in the information and acted on it immediately. He could appreciate the value of it and embraced the benefit of making these positive choices.”

Are you saving for a home, education, or a big move? Need help opening a savings account? Restoration’s Economic Solutions Center has helped thousands of New Yorkers save thousands of dollars to date. Sign up for Saverlife where you get paid to save. Join the Brooklyn Saver Club by visiting any of our three Economic Solutions Centers or call 718-636-6994 to make an appointment and learn more.