Jamila Dawson has the distinction of being personally recommended to join the council by Sandra Tobon, Consolidated Credit’s Director of Housing Counseling & Community Outreach. As ThirdFederal’s Community Development Market Manager, she works to expand financial education programs and mortgage access in Florida’s Palm Beach and Broward counties by partnering with local nonprofits, hosting seminars, and assisting first-time homebuyers get mortgages.
Over 20 Years of Helping the Community
Jamila got her start in the finance industry in 1999 as a bank teller. Over the years, she worked her way up to become a branch manager before getting into community development so she could increase her impact. “I worked my way through my industry and I’m very proud of the work that I put in,” Jamila adds.
From her humble beginnings and many years of working with the community, she saw firsthand how important financial knowledge can be to improving the lives of everyone from young adults to seniors. “I’ve always advocated for the community simply because I can understand the struggles of the community,” she says. “We want to provide the education and resources to serve the community better.”
Diverse Educational Efforts
Through her position at ThirdFederal, Jamila invests in a litany of programs and organizations that seek to educate, empower, and support people of all ages. “I look at myself as an educator,” Jamila says. “I believe that education at the end of the day is a key to growth, a key to success.”
Education and building long-lasting relationships are at the core of many of her community efforts. In addition to assisting nonprofit programs and various community-focused organizations, Jamila partners with realtors, the YMCA, and the Boys & Girls Club among others to target people of all ages.
Children aged 13 – 18 are taught foundational concepts like budgeting, how to file taxes, and how to manage finances in general. Seminars for realtors and first-time homebuyers help spread awareness about special programs to expand housing access and affordability. Housing counseling agencies are supported to keep as many people in their homes as possible. Senior citizens are taught how to avoid fraud, an issue rampant in their age group.
Nothing is Impossible
Jamila believes her broad, ground-up approach is key to making a real difference in people’s lives and making them aware of the resources available to them. “We talk to people about how they can better leverage themselves for homeownership or leverage their finances themselves for things they want to do,” she explains. “We have customers that are reaching out to us all the time. They reach out to us because we’ve educated them, and that continues to grow.”