Graduation and Baby Shower For First-Time Moms

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Free Victory State Bank course teaches budgeting, banking skills to new Staten Island mothers enrolled in Nurse-Family Partnership

NEW YORK CITY — Ten first-time mothers participating in the Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) program on Staten Island gathered yesterday at the Stapleton site to mark their graduation from a financial-literacy program and share in a baby shower.

The free course, “Babies, Budgets and Banking,” is a cooperative effort of Victory State Bank and the local NFP site.

The Nurse-Family Partnership, a nationally replicated program, is overseen in New York City by the city’s Health Department and implemented on the Island through Richmond Home Need Services, Stapleton.

‘ESSENTIAL INGREDIENTS’

“We have always believed that education and service are essential ingredients to building our Staten Island community,” said Ralph Branca, president and CEO of Victory State Bank. “This free course provides first-time mothers with the basic financial skills that are essential for their family’s welfare and future growth.”

Victory State Bank operates five full-service locations on Staten Island — the main office in the community of Great Kills, and branches in the communities of West Brighton, St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank. Victory is the only community-based commercial bank in the borough.

‘IMPORTANT LIFE SKILLS’

“One major goal of Nurse-Family Partnership includes assisting clients to become self-sufficient,” said Jo-Ellen Brannigan, RN, program director for the Staten Island site. “This joint banking program is a wonderful example of how we can assist our clients in accomplishing that goal. Not only have they received accurate information about banking procedures, they also learned important life skills.”

Following the graduation ceremony, each participate received a certificate of completion, donated baby-shower gifts, and $20 to be used for the opening of a savings account at the bank of their choice.

“The financial-literacy program includes three weekly 90-minute sessions, including, ‘Basics of Banking,’ ‘Budgeting for Baby’ and ‘How to Open and Use a Checking Account,'” explained Tracie Diggs, community development officer at Victory State Bank.

“The classes are designed to help participants take their first step on the road to financial freedom,” said Anna Williams, Victory State Bank vice president and Community Reinvestment Act officer. “Tracie Diggs is credited with writing and teaching a wonderful curriculum. Victory State Bank sees the course as beneficial to our community, as well as the formerly unbanked or under-banked individuals who will take with them knowledge of how to budget for themselves and their babies.”

BROADER SERVICES

Victory State Bank’s financial-literacy course works in concert with broader services provided at no cost to first-time pregnant women who meet the enrollment requirements of the Nurse-Family Partnership program.

When enrolled in NFP, a specially trained nurse visits the expectant mother throughout her pregnancy and until the baby is 2 years old. The nurse works with the client to help ensure a healthy pregnancy and baby; assists the mother in building a strong support network of family and friends; aids the mother in making a home safe for a baby; makes health care referrals, and much more.

For more information about the New York City Nurse-Family Partnership, which is available in all five boroughs, call 311 or visit nyc.gov/health. For information regarding Victory State Bank’s financial-literacy program, call Tracie Diggs at 718-889-3902.

ABOUT VICTORY STATE BANK

VSB Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ: VSBN) is the one-bank holding company for Victory State Bank. Victory State Bank is a Staten Island-based commercial bank, which commenced operations on Nov. 17, 1997. The bank’s initial capitalization of $7 million was primarily raised within the community of Staten Island, N.Y. The Bancorp’s total equity has increased to $25.9 million, primarily through the retention of earnings. For additional information, Victory State Bank may be reached at 718-979-1100 or visited online at http://victorystatebank.com/default.htm.

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