Aurora Women’s Empowerment Foundation
Makes Grant Possible

Mireya Luna, MPA,
Board Member, Aurora Public Library District Foundation

AURORA, IL, USA, December 2, 2021. “Financial literacy and women’s empowerment go hand in hand,” said Amy Baudouin, Board Chair, Aurora Women’s Empowerment Foundation (AWEF). “The Aurora Public Library District has a long history of addressing community needs in meaningful ways and we wanted to get behind this important program for young women in Aurora who could really benefit.”

The grant awarded by AWEF to the Aurora Public Library District Foundation (APLDF) will be used to pilot a financial education series, Imagine the Possibilities, aimed at financially marginalized young women ages 15 to 19. It will also be used to create and print guides highlighting basic monetary skills to promote financial literacy in women, including new immigrants.

The idea for the program was crystallized after Laura Stoney, APLDF Foundation Manager, spoke with a young woman who she met in the community. She  shared with Laura that she is a single mom struggling to keep a roof over her family’s head, especially since she lost one of her jobs due to COVID. She also shared that she did not know how to manage her money and there was never enough of it.

(From left) Mireya Luna, Laura Stoney, and Nisha Chottepanda-Floyd

“As I thought about this conversation,” Laura said.  “I knew that this mom would be struggling less if she had financial knowledge when she was younger. The grant we received from the Aurora Women Empowerment Foundation will help provide core financial management skills for young women, positively impacting them in ways they may not realize until they are older and managing a budget on their own.”

The curriculum for Imagine the Possibilities is being prepared by APLDF in tandem with Mireya Luna from First National Bank of Omaha in Aurora. Mireya is fluent in English and Spanish and will co-facilitate the training with Nisha Chottepanda-Floyd, from Woodforest National Bank, also in Aurora. Mireya and Nisha are Directors of the Aurora Public Library Foundation District.

Among the planned training topics include: 1) Needs versus Wants; 2) Spend Less Than You Earn (with SMART Money Goals); 3) Budget and Tracking Expenses; 4) Understanding Your Pay Stub (Gross Versus Net Pay); 5) Good Versus Bad Debt; 6) Credit and Your Credit Score; and 7) Investing.

While the plan is to launch the Imagine the Possibilities education series in February 2022, APLDF will begin distribution of financial literacy guides in January 2022. The Aurora Area Interfaith Food Pantry and the Marie Wilkinson Food Pantry will help distribute the guides. As will Family Focus, Mutual Ground, World Relief, City of Lights Empowerment Center, and other organizations helping financially marginalized women.

Additionally, financial literacy guides will be distributed via the Aurora Public Library Bookmobile and in library locations and online and

For more information, contact Laura Stoney at


The Aurora Women’s Empowerment Foundation mission is to elevate and empower Aurora-area women and future women by making grants to tax-exempt nonprofits engaged in meaningful, measurable work that helps women over the hurdles of inequity and exclusion, propelling them forward with life-changing programs and services.  For more information about grants made by AWEF, including our grant guidelines and online application, visit

Aurora Public Library District Foundation (APLDF) became a 501(c)(3) charitable organization in 2007 to help those in need in Aurora. Its purpose is to innovate literacy solutions so that all people may discover, create, connect, and succeed.

The acronym CARE represents APLDF guiding principles of 1) Community: To positively impact our community with a spotlight on those most in need; 2) Accountability: To follow the Donor Bill of Rights and serve as responsible stewards of donors’ resources and trust; 3) Respect: To value and honor diversity in our community; and Enrichment: To partner with others to make a greater difference in the lives we have the privilege to serve. Learn more about APLDF at