Opportunity Knocks brings reality TV to consumer finances
New public television show from producers of Biz Kid$
Opportunity Knock$, a public television show, will take viewers into the homes of everyday heroes, from military families to schoolteachers to first responders, on an aspirational journey of financial transformation through credit unions. Underwriting efforts will kick off with a private virtual party Feb. 26 at 1 pm ET/10 am PT.
With 52% of Americans struggling to make ends meet before the COVID pandemic struck, this motivational show will provide an intimate portrait of six families that represent many hard-working people who are facing financial difficulties and endeavoring to create stability for their families. The show will be hosted by CU Strategic Planning Chief Diversity Officer/Co-Owner Ronaldo Hardy and produced by Jamie Hammond, Jamie Strayer and Jenn George Hunter (bios below), of whom Hammond produced the wildly popular Biz Kid$ PBS television show with support from Strayer.
“What inspires me about Opportunity Knock$ is the portrayal of the true human spirit yearning to live our best lives,” Hardy said. “We are wired for it, but not everyone has access to opportunities. We want to show people how to take control of their lives and finances, no matter where they start.”
The families will begin working with a coach who sets short and long-term goals, plus regional nonprofits to increase access to education, housing and business ownership. Credit unions will then be called upon to provide debt consolidation, credit building and financing to move families forward on the wealth building continuum. Credit union employees will be interviewed to discuss the situation and how it’s touched them. At every step, Opportunity Knock$ will provide the coaching and tools the families need to succeed, along with connecting viewers to Opportunity Products at credit unions and CDFIs through an interactive map. In the end, the families will receive a prize that best suits their needs, whether it’s working capital for a small business or an educational or training scholarship. Strayer’s objective in creating the show is that viewers engaging at home will save thousands of dollars by directly connecting to credit unions with designated Opportunity Products online.
“In representing one of the nation’s oldest and trusted financial counseling services, I can definitely say people want to build a future full of possibilities,” BALANCE President/CEO Rico Delgadillo said of the show. “Opportunity Knock$ is a National Public Television program we are eager to see feature families benefiting from financial wellness.”
Hammond and Strayer are reuniting on Opportunity Knock$ following the success of Biz Kid$, which after 12 years and more than 71 episodes remains on the air and in syndication across 150+ PBS stations, and 200 other stations, including Fox, NBC, ABC and CBS, as well as making an appearance on Amazon Prime. Biz Kid$ featured stories set at 14 credit unions with exposure to millions of American consumers. Credit unions now have to opportunity to get involved Opportunity Knock$. Attend the exclusive kickoff party or contact Jamie Strayer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jamie Hammond has produced a dozen Emmy Award-Winning edutainment series during a career dedicated to making engaging and entertaining content that has a positive impact on the lives of others. She is one of the Executive Producers and Co-creators of Biz Kid$, which is the foundation of a full financial education initiative that has been adopted by the IRS, and Ernst & Young and accepted by many states as a recommended resource in financial literacy. It received the 2012 and 2013 Parent’s Choice Gold Award and fourteen Emmy nominations with two Emmy wins to date. Biz Kid$ is used around the country and internationally in schools, after-school activities, youth business plan competitions and community outreach. Previously, she also produced the first two seasons of MasterChef USA, the first competition cooking show; coordinating producer for Bill Nye the Science Guy delivering 100 episodes to syndication and PBS; Senior Producer for 15 interstitial segments titled 60 Seconds of Science for the Disney Channel; member of the creative team that developed and produces Second Opinion, a national award-winning medical series on PBS in production for its 17th season; and has produced 11 other national series for public television since relocating to Seattle in 1992 and many projects for commercial television over her extensive career.
Jamie Strayer pioneered bringing National Public Television and not-for-profit credit unions together for youth financial education with BizKid$ by working with credit union leaders to secure production funding for the Emmy Award-winning program. Jamie started at PBS in 2000 before she was called to the cooperative finance world and credit unions, starting at as the Washington Credit Union League’s director of communications where she introduced BizKid$ to credit unions in partnership with BECU, before founding CU Strategic Planning more than a decade ago. CU Strategic Planning has authored nearly 150 winning grants from the US Treasury Department’s Community Development Financial Institution Fund (CDFI), totaling more than $135 million for 98 credit unions in 34 states. CU Strategic Planning’s mission is to unlock opportunities for credit unions to change their communities. Clients include Telhio, Lake Trust, Suncoast, Financial Partners, JetStream, Michigan First, Vantage West, Seattle Credit Union and Pelican State among others.
Jenn George Hunter is a Seattle-based, award-winning filmmaker and event/ talent producer whose work has ranged from film to corporate events, including the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece. Jenn’s financial acumen and exceptional project management is recognized by Fortune 500 Companies, including Bank of America, for whom she produced and continues to produce multimillion-dollar events. Her production management includes work with Grammy Award-Winning, Platinum selling artists OneRepublic, Rob Thomas, Kenny Loggins and Goo Goo Dolls. She believes in community development finances’ power to make a difference, even if that means helping one person at a time while pushing for systemic change with collaborative effort and capital investment to help people help themselves.