Announcing the Spring 2023 Grant Recipients

We are pleased to announce the Plutus Foundation’s Spring 2023 grant recipients. We received a significant number of submissions and we are happy to announce the recipients for this round.

Here are the grant recipients for the Spring 2023 cohort.

IT’S LIT Financial Literacy Workshop

Stacks Enterprises provides a fun and interactive workshop for students to engage and get comfortable discussing money topics uniquely titled It’s LIT (pun intended) to create the same fun and relevance as the popular phrase.

While they serve the greater Los Angeles area, their target is to meet the needs of local inner city communities of Long Beach, Compton, and South Central Los Angles. These communities are under-banked and often lack a strong financial foundation.

About the Founder

Krista Williams Bowman is a financial advocate, educator, and enthusiast. Her obsession with money started young with Suze Orman. This lead her down a glorious rabbit hole of personal finance. Through engaging and interactive workshops, she teaches fundamental principles of financial literacy: It’s LIT!



My Finances Are Beautiful

Marsha Barnes created The Finance Bar because she loves helping women and couples move from financially existing to financially thriving. She’s here to ease the anxiety you experience when you feel financially stuck and to work closely with you to achieve the financial lifestyle that makes you feel confident and secure. With The Finance Bar, you no longer have to suffer in silence or feel as though you don’t deserve hands-on help with your finances.

My Finances Are Beautiful events and pop-up experiences seek to highlight the importance of how financial wellness and preparedness play a significant role in our ability to navigate finances with confidence and assurance.

About the Founder


Marsha Barnes is a personal finance expert, and Founder of The Finance Bar, the 1st educational personal finance hub on wheels, and visionary behind The Finance Bar Members Club and Expense Manager Mobile App. Marsha has a passion for personal finance like no other.

Since launching The Finance Bar, Marsha’s innovative ability to offer personal finance teachings has appeared in National outlets such as Forbes, Yahoo Finance, Black Enterprise, NPR, Business Insider, and Black Enterprise.


Homes on the Hill Financial Capabilities

Homes on the Hill (HOTH) has worked to empower low to moderate-income families for thirty years. Our mission is to strengthen neighborhoods by providing quality affordable housing, advocacy, education, and supportive services to primarily low- and moderate-income individuals and families. The Financial Capability Counseling provided by our HUD-certified Housing Counselors is one way we work to accomplish our mission.

They believe that sound financial knowledge is the cornerstone of empowering families in their community. HOTH is a community-based Community Housing Development Organization and neighborhood Community Development Corporation, governed by a board of directors from the community. HOTH staff maintains several financial capability certifications and meets training and certification guidelines for the National Industry Standards for Homeownership Education and Counseling.

About the Program Manager

Homes on the Hill

Daniel Ruggiero has over a decade of experience in mortgage lending, education, and community development. He holds a B.A. from Davidson College and an M.A. from The Ohio State University. Ruggiero was instrumental in creating Homes on the Hill’s Spanish-language homebuyer education program in 2002, the first bilingual housing counseling program in Central Ohio.

He spent eight years with the Huntington National Bank, where he focused on LMI lending, financial education, and down payment assistance programs for first-time homebuyers. Ruggiero also taught classes at The Ohio State University from 1999-2017.

He returned to Homes on the Hill in 2013 and is now Assistant Director.


Money In The Valley Community Event

The Money in the Valley event seeks to help members of the Middletown community to learn more about financial literacy topics and feel empowered to handle their money. They are partnering with local financial professionals and Middletown High School to provide educational presentations on the topics of budgeting, investing, and starting a business. The aim is to make the event free for members of the community to attend.

The event is targeting adults and older teens in the Middletown Community. In particular, they are aiming to reach parents who want to learn alongside their kids, teens who recognize the importance of learning about money at a young age, and individual adults who want to create a sense of control around their finances.

About the Event Advisor

Rob Phelan

Rob is a high school math and personal finance teacher, Certified Financial Education Instructor, small business owner, founder of the FI Educator brand, and author of 3 money books for kids. He has been nominated for a Plutus Award twice in the past (2020, 2022).




Thank you to everyone who applied for our Spring 2023 grants. We are always grateful to see the creativity, diversity, and expertise that continue to define this community.

Congratulations to this season’s grant recipients. If you are interested in receiving support from the Plutus Foundation for your financial literacy project, subscribe to our newsletter to be the first to hear when the next round of grants is available for submissions.

Share via:

Related Posts

Grants and Programs

Announcing the Spring 2024 Grant Recipients

The Plutus Foundation is proud to present the Spring 2023 cohort of grant recipients, IT’S LIT Financial Literacy Workshop, My Finances Are Beautiful, Homes on the Hill Financial Capabilities, and Money In The Valley Community Event.

Share via:
Money in the Valley Flyer
Grants and Programs

Grant Update: Money In the Valley

An update on Money in the Valley, a program we support that was initiated by the students of Middletown High School.

Share via:
Grants and Programs

Grant Update: Elevate Investing

Here is an update from our grant recipient, Eric Chen, and his program, Elevate Investing. Elevate Investing partnered with Navy Elementary School to host an investing education program lasting six weeks.

Share via:


Leave a Reply

Follow or subscribe to the

Plutus Awards Podcast

Join us for #plutuschat on Twitter

You must register here to qualify for the giveaway!

Note: There are no currently scheduled PlutusChats.