This organization is helping women take charge of their careers and their finances.
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Capital One Future Edge

As a young woman, Brandi Tillman never thought of herself as a financial role model.

Growing up in Chicago, she was raised to believe that navigating the financial world was a task that was best left to men.

“I know firsthand, boys in my family are taught to save money," says Tillman. “Work a job, save money, 'this is how you get a house, this is how you get a car.' The girls [weren't] taught that [as much]."


So it's understandable that when she opened her first savings account in college, she didn't really try to understand how to use it.

“I didn't know how to manage [a savings account] without overdrawing," recalls Tillman. “I didn't keep it long because I didn't know what to do with it."

Needless to say, Tillman had developed a bit of a financial blindspot over the years that was impeding her ability to achieve the level of success of which she was more than capable.

It impacted her career as well. She veered away from jobs that dealt significantly with finance.

Thankfully, Tillman got wind of an organization called Dress for Success that's helping women learn the skills they need to succeed in both the workplace and finance world.

A Dress for Success class in Seattle. Photo via Dress for Success.

Started in 1997, Dress for Success Worldwide is a global organization that was created to “empower women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life."

One of those tools is now a comprehensive financial education program. In partnership with Capital One, Dress for Success is offering its network of goal-oriented, career-driven women the opportunity to take a financial well-being course aimed at helping them define and achieve their individual goals.

Tillman was invited to participate through the Professional Women's Group — a life-long network of employed Dress for Success women that offers support, practical information and inspiration to help them reach their goals.

She agreed because she had never taken any class or course on finances before. However, she wasn't sure what to expect.

“When I signed up for it, I thought it would just be talking about how to make money, then how to spend it, then how to save. I thought those were going to be the main points, but there was this broad perspective."

The 13-week program, hosted at Capital One's Lincoln Park Café and facilitated by Café Ambassadors, went in-depth on subjects like stocks and bonds, mutual funds, how banks interact with consumers, and the tactics for building and maintaining good credit.

For Tillman, it was a game changer. “I heard about these things before, but I never got any kind of explanation on how to get them, what they're there for, different ways they're used," she explains.

But the program's not just about helping women gain financial knowledge. It's helping women, like Tameka Flowers, land the job of their dreams.

Flowers (center) graduating from the financial literacy program. Photo via Flowers.

A working mother of three from Los Angeles, Flowers was job searching frantically for something that could pay the bills immediately rather than thinking long-term.

“I was applying for any job," says Flowers.

She went on 20 interviews, but kept coming back empty-handed. Then Dress for Success helped her clearly define her goals and think about the future. Soon after, she landed her dream job as Manager of Learning and Development for Goodwill Southern California. She also now serves as an Ambassador for Dress for Success Worldwide, and was invited to participate in the organization's Financial Education Program.

“Just being a part of that program, it really took my confidence to the next level," she says.

As much as the Financial Literacy Program is about strategizing and defining your own financial goals, it's also about learning from other women of all backgrounds and financial histories, and creating a network of support.

Ana Maria Matos, a social worker from Portland, Oregon, who also took the course, likens it to learning to speak English as her second language.

“I don't feel like you learn it in the classroom. You learn it by going out and speaking and talking to other people. I think financial [strategy] is the same way."

“There were women who were 50, 60 plus in our class who could give insight on mistakes they had made…financial mistakes and financial goals they had throughout life," explains Tillman.

And it didn't only go one-way. Tillman said the younger members were just as adept at teaching the older women about online banking, cash-pay apps like Zelle and other technological advances in finance.

A Dress for Success class in Glendale, California. Photo via Dress for Success.

Now Tillman is interested in passing her newfound financial wisdom on to her 14-year-old daughter, Makya. In fact, at the top of Tillman's newly defined financial priorities is opening a savings account in her daughter's name.

Perhaps Tillman's daughter will even have the opportunity to join this fast-growing network of strong and supportive women. Since its inception, Dress for Success Worldwide has expanded to more than 150 cities across 30 countries, and continues to invest in the lives of more and more women every day.

Being able to take charge of personal finances is vital to securing independence and security for the future, and should be a prerogative of every person, regardless of age or background.

Tillman, Flowers and Matos are just a handful of the women from Dress for Success Worldwide who've taken charge of their own financial well-being. And they hope to lead and inspire many more to follow suit.

“One of the things I really think we need to create [is] awareness," says Matos. “All of us can dream and achieve goals. It just happens that we need to have somebody who can make us see that nothing is impossible."

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Amazon

Shopping sustainably is increasingly important given the severity of the climate crisis, but sometimes it's hard to know where to turn. Thankfully, Amazon is making it a little easier to browse thousands of products that have one or more of 19 sustainability certifications that help preserve the natural world.

The online retailer recently announced Climate Pledge Friendly, a program to make it easier for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products. To determine the sustainability of a product, the program partnered with third-party certifications, including governmental agencies, nonprofits, and independent labs.

With a selection of items spanning grocery, household, fashion, beauty, and personal electronics, you'll be able to shop more sustainably not just for the holiday season, but throughout the year for your essentials, as well.

You can browse all of the Climate Pledge Friendly products here, labeled with an icon and which certification(s) they meet. To get you on your way to shopping more sustainably, we've rounded up eight of our favorite Climate Pledge Friendly-products that will make great gifts all year long.

Amazon

Jack Wolfskin Women's North York Coat

Give the gift of warmth and style with this coat, available in a variety of colors. Sustainability is built into all Jack Wolfskin products and each item comes with a code that lets you trace back to its origins and understand how it was made.

Bluesign: Bluesign products are responsibly manufactured by using safer chemicals and fewer resources, including less energy, in production.


Amazon

Amazon All-new Echo Dot (4th Gen)

For the tech-obsessed. This Alexa smart speaker, which comes in a sleek, compact design, lets you voice control your entertainment and your smart home as well as connect with others.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.


Amazon

Burt's Bees Family Jammies Matching Holiday Organic Cotton Pajamas

Get into the holiday spirit with these fun matching PJs for the whole family. Perfect for pictures that even Fido can get in on.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

Naturistick 5-Pack Lip Balm Gift Set

With 100% natural ingredients that are gentle on ultra-sensitive lips, this gift is a great gift for the whole family.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.


Amazon

Arus Women's GOTS Certified Organic Cotton Hooded Full Length Turkish Bathrobe

For those who love to lounge around, this full-length organic cotton bathrobe is the way to go. Available in five different colors, it has comfortable cuffed sleeves, a hood, pockets, and adjustable belt.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

L'Occitane Extra-Gentle Vegetable Based Soap

This luxe soap, made with moisturizing shea butter and scented with verbena, is perfect for the self-care obsessed.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.

Amazon

Goodthreads Men's Sweater-Knit Fleece Long-Sleeve Bomber

For the fashionable men in your life, this fashion-forward knit bomber is an excellent choice. The sweater material keeps it cozy and warm, while the bomber jacket-cut, zip front, and rib-trim neck make it look elevated.

Recycled Claim Standard 100: Products with this certification use materials made from at least 95% recycled content.

Amazon

All-new Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote

Make it even easier to access your favorite movies and shows this holiday season. The new Fire TV Stick lets you use your voice to search across apps. Plus it controls the power and volume on your TV, so you'll never need to leave the couch! Except for snacks.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Welcometoterranova and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Welcometoterranova-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.