Press Room

GMAC Helps 20 Graduates of the Harlem Center for Education Offset the Costs of Textbooks

Jun 15, 2006

NEW YORK - GMAC Financial Services today presented $10,000 for book allowances that will help 20 graduates of the Harlem Education Center offset the cost of college textbooks. GMAC made the presentation at the 2006 Harlem Center for Education Awards Ceremony as part of the company's national GMAC SmartEdge Book Allowance Program.



The Harlem Center for Education will administer individual $500 awards to 20 eligible students in the Harlem community. Recipients will be selected based on criteria set by advisors at the Center. Some requirements for selection are acceptance by an accredited college or university for the fall semester and financial need.

In addition, GMAC will continue to help increase understanding of personal and automotive finance issues in the greater Harlem community through its SmartEdge program. SmartEdge seminars teach responsible personal and automotive finance and are free for participants, with no obligation to GMAC or GM. In 2005, GMAC trained instructors at the Center to teach the program, which is now offered there throughout the year.

"SmartEdge by GMAC is designed to teach sound financial skills to people of all ages, skills especially useful to young adults headed to college" said Barbara Stokel, executive vice president, GMAC North American Operations. "We're are especially pleased to support the Harlem Center for Education with the GMAC SmartEdge Book Allowance Program, which is a natural fit with the educational seminars, and a good way for GMAC to help improve financial literacy, and to encourage higher education."

"The Harlem Center for Education is pleased to have GMAC as a partner and we commend them on their efforts in our community," said Paula J. Martin, executive director and talent search project director, Harlem Center for Education. "The education our students receive through the SmartEdge seminars provides them with financial awareness at an early age, and GMAC's SmartEdge Book Allowance program will help many of our local students alleviate the expense of textbooks, an often unexpected cost of higher education."

GMAC plays an active role in the Harlem community in many ways, including financial support for the first two new dealerships in Harlem in more than 40 years - Otis Thornton's Chevrolet-Saturn dealership and Potamkin's Cadillac-Hummer of Harlem. GMAC provides a variety of retail and wholesale products and services to both operations.

SmartEdge by GMAC is designed to help car buyers make good financial decisions by educating them about the value of establishing and maintaining good credit, the essentials of proper budgeting, and how to choose a vehicle financing option to fit individual lifestyle needs.

In 2006 GMAC expects to host more than 1,000 SmartEdge events and seminars in cities across the country including Atlanta; Chicago; Cleveland; Dallas; Houston; Miami; New York, Sacramento; San Antonio; San Diego; St. Louis; Charlotte, N.C.; Memphis, Tenn.; and Tampa, Fla.

GMAC's SmartEdge Book Allowance Program is a national program that collaborates with non-profit organizations to identify recipients for a donation to help offset the costs of textbooks for post-high school education. GMAC will give a total of $400,000 in book allowances, helping about 800 recipients offset the costs of books in 2006.

SmartEdge by GMAC program information is available online at The site hosts video seminars, online tutorials and program workbooks--all available to anyone for free download.

About the Harlem Center for Education

Harlem Center for Education is a not for profit organization located in East Harlem, El Barrio, New York. The organization has been serving the young people of this community and the City of New York for over 37 years. The organization receives funding for the free services it provides from corporations, foundations, and U.S. Department of Education grants. For more information visit the Harlem Center for Education online at

About GMAC

General Motors Acceptance Corporation and its subsidiaries, operating under the umbrella GMAC Financial Services, provide automotive financing, commercial finance, insurance and mortgage products, and real estate services, and have a presence in more than 40 nations. A wholly owned subsidiary of General Motors since 1919, GMAC has extended more than $1.4 trillion in credit to finance more than 162 million vehicles.

Jennifer Zajac
GMAC Corporate Communications

Misty Matthews
Mullen for GMAC

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