Alum Wins Award for Economic Inclusion

Katherine Barillas, (’99, MSW) and Director of Child Welfare Policy at and Governmental Relations at One Voice Texas is the recipient of the 2012 Alliance for Economic Inclusion (AEI) Pioneer Award.

From One Voice Texas’ Executive Director Laurie Glaze  (’82, MSW):

“For over a year, Katherine has worked with the AEI which is the FDIC's national initiative to establish broad-based coalitions of financial institutions, community-based organizations, and other partners in markets across the country to bring all unbanked and underserved populations into the financial mainstream.  The focus is on expanding basic retail financial services for underserved populations, including savings accounts, affordable remittance products, small-dollar loan programs, targeted financial education programs, alternative delivery channels and other asset-building programs.

Through her participation/leadership with our local AEI coalition, the group created a model that provides for the establishment of secure limited liability accounts for youth under 18 and increases the financial literacy of youth in and transitioning out of foster care.  This past summer, the first financial literacy camp was held in Houston and plans are underway for future utilization within our region. 

As part of the work, the group created a manual, for financial institutions, that introduces them to the foster care youth population and helps them understand the role that financial institutions can play to support these youth.  We are reaching out to providers around the state as well as additional financial institutions and, through the manual, introducing them to the model. It is our hope that, in the near future, all areas of the state will adopt the model as a component in preparing foster youth for independence.” 

Not only is Katherine a graduate of the GCSW but she also received her PhD from the UH College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (’10, Political Science).  She served as a Hogg Foundation Policy Fellow at One Voice and was hired into the position of Director of Child Welfare Policy after completing the fellowship.

In October 2012, Katherine, along with Dr. Suzanne Pritzker, launched the Policy Insider Series at the GCSW.  A four part series of conversations on policy, advocacy and politics, the events are a platform for discussions with local advocates, lobbyists, students, faculty and the community.

We congratulate Katherine for  winning the AEI Pioneer award and for her continued involvement with the GCSW.

Mark your calendars for “Key Social Welfare Issues in the 2013 Texas Legislative Session and Tips for Getting Involved in the Process” on February 12, 2013.

Read more about the Alliance for Economic Inclusion