Moving from Poverty to Financial Independence

Before enrolling in the BankWork$® program at Philadelphia OIC, Avery Martin was working for his family’s cleaning business earning an annual income of $12,000. Although he enjoyed entrepreneurship,  the business model simply was not designed to sustain his lifestyle or to move his dreams forward.

Avery had a passion for finance and  desired to work in banking. He reached  out on faith to contact Philadelphia OIC after seeing a post on Facebook about the BankWork$® program. This might be an opportunity to  pursue his goal of becoming a personal banker! As a result of the free training Avery received at OIC, he is now a Mortgage Loan Officer! If you are interested in the financial services industry, Philadelphia OIC can help you create a path to realize your dreams!

Philadelphia OIC partners with BankWork$®, a free vocational training program to train inner-city adults in the hard and soft skills needed to start a career in banking. The program is designed to prepare you for positions as a teller, customer service representative or personal banker. The training is constantly updated to ensure that Philadelphia OIC is training people for the jobs that are currently needed in banking and other areas of the financial services industry.  

Avery radiated determination and commitment  on Day 1 of the program. He recognized that Philadelphia OIC was giving him a fighting chance to move forward in his life. Avery told us  “I was trying to get into banking for years but never seemed able to break in or find an entry point and it was frustrating."

Upon completion of the BankWork$® program, graduates are given an opportunity to meet our banking partners and to interview for vacancies at their branches. Some graduates obtain job offers on the day of graduation!

Avery became a Customer Service Teller for Republic Bank after graduation.  Nine months later at a local coffee shop, he saw a recruiter from Citizens Bank who had attended his graduation from OIC.   He used the networking skills he learned at Philadelphia OIC and obtained her business card.

“I sent her my resume and two months later, I was working at the Citizens branch in my neighborhood,” Avery said. “I’ve been with Citizens Bank for almost two years now and I was recently promoted. I am blessed with the opportunity to be a mortgage loan officer and to help people fulfill their goal of home ownership.”

Top: Avery Martin participated as the Alumni Speaker at t BankWork$® graduation earlier this year.
Bottom: Sherry Cromett. President, CareerWork$, Judge Renée Cardwell Hughes, President & CEO, Philadelphia OIC and Latoya Edmond, Vice President of Workforce Development & Economic Innovation, Philadelphia OIC at graduation.

BankWork$® gave Avery the foundation to become a teller and a personal banker. Today, Avery is a Mortgage Loan Officer!

He believes in paying it forward and often visits Philadelphia OIC to speak with BankWork$® students about his experience in the industry and to offer advice on what to expect after graduation.

Avery's ambition is to open his own bank one day and fulfill the promise of OIC founder, Reverend Dr. Leon Sullivan of “helping people help themselves" through financial independence.

Philadelphia OIC works daily to move people from poverty to earning a sustainable wage and Avery Martin is a testament to what happens when hard work meets dedication. The opportunities are limitless!

For more information about the BankWork$® program, contact Shantelle Faison, BankWork$® Instructor or visit here.

To support this program or to become a  corporate partner,  contact Latoya Edmond, Vice President of Workforce Development & Economic Innovation.