Image of a person walking through a keyhole with the words Opportunity Knocked, Pelican Answered

Opportunity Knocked, Pelican Answered

What would you do if someone offered you the opportunity of a lifetime? Would you take it?

Pelican State Credit Union and Lake Charles pastors Charles and Tiffany White answered with a resounding YES when they received the opportunity to appear on the PBS series “Opportunity Knock$.”


Pelican State Credit Union's Opportunity Knock$ red carpet

Pelican State Credit Union’s “Opportunity Knock$” red carpet.

“Opportunity Knock$” comes at a time when more than 60% of Americans live paycheck-to-paycheck. The lack of knowledge about resources available to struggling families aggravates this crisis.

Intent on developing a solution and inspired by childhood memories of her mother’s volunteerism, CU Strategic Planning founder and show creator Jamie Strayer created the PBS television series.

The show follows six families as they work with renowned financial coaches and community development financial institutions (CDFIs) to improve their financial standing.

The show’s website also came with the launch of a revolutionary search engine, The Opportunity Finder, which helped each family locate CDFIs.

The tool connects those in need to over 17,000 local CDFIs, Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs), and not-for-profit credit unions. All of which serve marginalized and low-income communities and face vigorous vetting.

Unlike other financial reality shows, “Opportunity Knock$” takes a different approach to financial wellness. The series focuses on helping families find real-life solutions instead of just giving them textbook advice.

By equipping families with the support of local community organizations and nonprofits, the show sets them up for lifetime success long after the Opportunity Coaches leave.


The year 2009 was painful for Charles and Tiffany White. Both their twins were born with severe medical conditions, forcing them to spend months in a hospital. Seven months after being born, their son Christopher passed away.

The medical stay and hospital bills led to a chain reaction of grief, burden, and financial setbacks that led to the loss of their jobs, homes, and cars.

After the tragedy, the couple slowly worked toward piecing their life and finances back together. They were making headway on improving their finances when the COVID pandemic and two hurricanes impacted their lives.

All the progress they made disappeared as they drained their savings accounts and used credit cards to pay for hotel accommodations and the needs of their congregants.

Out of options, they prayed for an opportunity. That opportunity came in the form of “Opportunity Knock$” and Pelican State Credit Union.


Taking the step to seek financial help is understandably nerve-wracking. You might feel that you will be judged or preached to. However, proper assistance can make all the difference when you’re trying to dig yourself out of a financial hole.

From left: Pelican State CU CEO and President Jeff Conrad, Charles White, Tiffany White, Pelican State CU Credit Counselor Kimber Hulbert, and CU Strategic Planning founder and show creator Jamie Strayer

Pelican State Credit Union’s “Opportunity Knock$” red carpet. From left: Pelican State CU CEO and President Jeff Conrad, Charles White, Tiffany White, Pelican State CU Credit Counselor Kimber Hulbert, and CU Strategic Planning founder and show creator Jamie Strayer.

With Pelican’s Financial Wellness Program and Credit Counselor Kimber Hulbert’s help, Charles and Tiffany saved $800 a month and learned important information about how credit scores function.

Pelican’s involvement with the series and Mr. and Mrs. White is the perfect example of how the credit union positively impacts its members’ lives.

In a turn that illustrates the Pelican team’s commitment to its members, Hulbert and the Whites are still good friends to this day!


Charles and Tiffany’s experience with Pelican State CU is not exclusive to them. The credit union’s Financial Wellness Program is available for all its members.

Over the past 16 years, Pelican’s Financial Wellness Workshops have helped over 55,000 people in Louisiana. Each year the credit union hosts an average of 2,000 credit counseling sessions, helping several members graduate from the program and become homeowners.

The best part? The program is free to all members!


Don’t let your opportunity pass you by! Visit to meet with a Pelican State CU credit counselor. To find a CDFI in your area, visit

Watch all episodes of “Opportunity Knock$” on, your local PBS station, or the PBS Passport streaming service.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments