The 2nd session of AIR’s Financial Empowerment Pilot Program (FEPP) kicks off in August. We’re not just talking about saving pennies; we’re talking about unlocking the secrets to financial success! Led by experienced financial coaches, Annice Brown and Jane Hatley, this program is not your average finance class.

And to sweeten the deal, you’ll get a 2:1 match on your savings at the end of the program, so if you save $500, you’ll get $1,000 (**$1,000 is the maximum savings match).

About the Course:

This course provides 20 hours of financial learning between August and December and includes:

  • A 1-day workshop is Monday, August 19 from 11am-6pm (includes lunch). The workshop follows the Best Year Yet model. Best Year Yet is a proven system that connects people to their “whys” and provides them with the skills and tools they need to reach and exceed their goals. This program uncovers untapped potential and leverages the power of habits, mindset, values, and planning to help people achieve more than imaginable. **Restaurant of employment is required to pay employee for the 1-day workshop at regular wages or $20 per hour minimum.
  • Monthly meet-ups  where we’ll dive into topics like building a budget, using credit responsibly, investing, home ownership and more. These 90-minute in-person group sessions will take place Mondays: August 26; September 23; October 7; November 4; and December 2; times are either 10:30-12pm or 1:30-3pm
  • Individual coaching sessions will take place Mondays or Tuesdays: September 9 or 10; September 30 or October 1; October 21 or 22; November 18 or 19, December 9 or 10, individual sessions can be in person or on the phone
  • Final group session and celebration is Monday, December 16

Cost:  $25 registration fee per participant

Sessions will take place at Explore Asheville, centrally located with free parking and a transit stop nearby. Some sessions may be located elsewhere. Plenty of advance notice will be provided (all locations will be accessible via transit).

Here’s what current participants have to say about the program:

The AIR Financial Empowerment Program has been an immense help in my journey to find financial freedom. As a restaurant worker in a town that relies on tourism, the budgeting, planning, and saving skills I’ve learned have been invaluable in helping set my money goals for today and for my future, even with the ebbs and flows of non-traditional income sources. The knowledge and resources I’ve been given have allowed me to understand my finances better and to feel confident managing them in the ways that most benefit me. Thank you for empowering me to get the most from my money through this amazing opportunity! (Lauren – Cultura)

I love just how positive and interactive Annice and Jane were the whole time. This program has really made me think about my financial situation and future, not only for myself but for my children as well. The speakers were very nice and I learned about so many resources that I didn’t even know were out there. All in all this program has been a blessing for me and I would love to see it continue to help other people in the future. (Alex – Chai Pani)

Who can participate? If you’ve been employed at an AIR member restaurant for at least six months, putting in a solid 30+ hours a week, and you’re game to build the foundation for financial success, fill out the application by Sunday, July 7. Application is below.

A more detailed description of the program can be found here. A flyer for the program can be found here (flyer can be posted in employee areas of the restaurant).

Financial Empowerment Pilot Program Participant Application Session 2

Your Name(Required)
Preferred Name
Your Address(Required)
MM slash DD slash YYYY
Email Address(Required)
I agree to accept texts or calls from FEPP coaches and AIR in regard to this program.(Required)

Applicants must have permission from their supervisor or restaurant owner to participate in the program. Wage and hours info will be verified by supervisor. Restaurant is expected to pay employee to participate in the one-day workshop.

The following questions are to assess eligibility for the program. In line with the requirements of the Dogwood Health Trust grant, preference will be given to candidates at or below 51% of the Buncombe County AMI for family size.

Do you work full-time or part-time?(Required)
Do you own your home?(Required)
Do you have a savings account?(Required)
What other benefits do you receive?(Required)

Demographic Information


Availability and Commitment

Attending a one-day workshop (child care stipend available upon request).(Required)
Attending monthly group sessions, 1 per month for 6 months, 1.5 hours each(Required)
Attending 30-minute monthly individual coaching sessions, 1 per month for six months, in person or on Zoom.(Required)
Creating a monthly savings plan and making 6 different monthly savings deposits each month.(Required)
Paying $25 for the initial workshop.(Required)
Scheduling all of your participation time in advance with your employer.(Required)

Thank you for applying to the FEP Program. We appreciate your commitment to enhancing your financial stability/growth, and we look forward to working together on your goals. By submitting this application, you confirm that the information provided is accurate, and you agree to actively participate in the FEPP. Successful applicants will be notified via contact information provided.