Goodwill partners with SOFA for monthly financial literacy workshops

Free series to address topics including eliminating debt, college planning, Social Security, asset protection and more

Published Thursday, August 3, 2017

June Braithwaite (center) with Goodwill’s community engagement manager Samantha Valentin (left) and vice president Veronica Brandon MillerBRADENTON, FL – Goodwill Manasota is pleased to host a monthly workshop series - in collaboration with June Braithwaite, who is a member of the Society for Financial Awareness (SOFA) - focusing on financial literacy. The events, part of Goodwill's Good Neighbor program, are free and open to the public and take place the first Wednesday of the month in the community rooms of Goodwill's Cortez (3465 Cortez Rd., Bradenton) and Lakewood Ranch (8750 E. State Rd. 70, Bradenton) locations.

SOFA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit public benefit corporation whose mission is to provide financial education across America one community at a time. Comprised of financial professionals who volunteer their services, SOFA is able to offer a multitude of workshops and seminars on topics including but not limited to, retirement, college planning, home buying, investment basics, tax planning, and more.

Goodwill Manasota’s commitment to promoting financial literacy and available community rooms make for the perfect partnership with SOFA. Through Goodwill’s Good Neighbor Program, free classes are provided to the community on a variety of offerings ranging from technology and foreign-language instruction to arts and culture, community service and social opportunities. All classes are taught by volunteers, known as Goodwill Ambassadors.

Braithwaite is a Certified Compensation Professional and a member of Society for Human Resource Management; she has been a speaker at the Employer HealthCare & Benefits Congress. 

“SOFA’s goal is to provide as many people as possible with a greater understanding of practical financial principles to live by. Goodwill Manasota’s Good Neighbor Program also seeks to educate and empower our community so this collaboration is a great fit,” Braithwaite said. “So many people today have little to no education on even the most basic financial concepts and through this workshop series we hope to provide them with useful and practical skills to make the most of their financial futures.”

Upcoming workshops include:

  • September 6: Financial Blunders – Lessons We Never Learn - Gain a better understanding of "the market" and how to protect your assets (Cortez)
  • October 4: College Planning - Learn how to develop a college investment plan, maximize financial aid, and more (Lakewood Ranch)
  • November 1: Legal Lessons for Life – Learn about trusts, minimizing estate tax exemptions, selecting guardians for children, and more (Lakewood Ranch) 
  • December 6: Social Security Explained (Lakewood Ranch)
  • January 3, 2018: Women Approaching Retirement and Beyond – Learn about life and long-term care insurance, estate planning, risk management and more (Lakewood Ranch)
  • February 2, 2018: Taking Control of Your Cash – Learn how to eliminate debt, develop a budget, and stop living paycheck to paycheck (Cortez)

"We are so pleased that June is willing to share her significant knowledge of financial matters with members of our community," said Goodwill Manasota vice president Veronica Brandon Miller. "Topics such as estate planning, paying for college, Social Security - a lack of knowledge in these areas can cause great stress for individuals with little access to expert help. Our hope is that attendees will leave with a sense of confidence and empowerment as they gain a better understanding of their finances as well as how to best prepare for their financial future." 

For more information about Goodwill's Good Neighbor classes, go to, click on "Community" and then "Neighborhood Classes," or call (941) 355-2721.


PHOTO ID: June Braithwaite (center) with Goodwill’s community engagement manager Samantha Valentin (left) and vice president Veronica Brandon Miller

About Goodwill Manasota
Goodwill Manasota is an industry-leading, 501(c)(3), not-for-profit organization that changes lives through the power of work. With the sales of donated goods and philanthropic donations, Goodwill is able to assist people with disabilities and other barriers to employment by providing job skills training and employment opportunities. In 2016, Goodwill Manasota served 28,207 people, placed 755 people in jobs and assisted 240 veterans as they reintegrated back into the civilian workforce. Goodwill Manasota’s economic impact back to the community is worth $92.1 million. Goodwill is one of the pioneers of the reduce-reuse-recycle movement and this past year diverted more than 40 million pounds out of the landfill. We accomplish our mission through a network of Good Neighbor Centers in Sarasota, Manatee, Hardee and DeSoto counties and our Mission Development Services (MDS) around North America. Goodwill Manasota is accountable to a local Board of Directors. Goodwill Manasota, in essence, belongs to this community and is not owned by any individual or company. For more information, visit