San Francisco, CA – June 24, 2011 –Going above and beyond in the pursuit of financial literacy, the Educational Director of the Collin County (McKinney Branch) Boys & Girls Club, Jessica Vang, was recognized today by Visa Inc. as national "Innovative Educator" for the month of June.
As part of her role at the Club, Ms. Vang teaches a financial literacy class called Money Matters to about 80 to 100 students per week (20 per class), covering financial basics like budgeting, banking, the importance of saving, smart shopping and other money management concepts that apply to their everyday lives. The Money Matters curriculum, which was created in partnership with the Charles Schwab Foundation, is the basis of the financial literacy program for youth 13 through 18 at the Boys & Girls Club. As an afterschool program, the Boys & Girls Club works to supplement what students are learning during the day, with tutoring and by teaching new content.
"It is really enjoyable to help students learn about new concepts, especially ones that they might not be getting during the normal school day," said Vang. "What is most rewarding is witnessing these children develop a competent understanding of finances because I know this will help shape financial decisions they make when they are older, which is critically important for success in today's world."
To learn more about how Ms. Vang is helping his students tackle their financial futures, please visit www.practicalmoneyskills.com, the website for Visa's award-winning financial education program, Practical Money Skills for Life.
"For many Americans, particularly young Americans, financial education does not begin at home and so it is critical that dynamic educators like Ms. Vang are on the front lines in the effort to make sure young people understand financial basics," said Jason Alderman, Visa's director of financial education. "Ms. Vang truly shares Visa's longstanding commitment to ensuring that all consumers understand the importance of responsible money management."
The Innovative Educator award is handed out monthly to one or more teachers nationwide who demonstrate a commitment to bringing personal finance education into their classroom. The award is part of Visa's Practical Money Skills for Life program, an educator-developed and educator-approved program that helps students – from preschoolers and elementary school students, to teens and college students – learn the essentials of personal finance.
Created by Visa and available in both English and Spanish, educators, parents and students can access free educational resources including: useful personal finance information on a variety of topics, lesson plans and games, calculators, research and a monthly newsletter with over 65,000 subscribers. Visa also runs What's My Score (www.whatsmyscore.org), a leading higher education consumer awareness program. This free Web site guides college students through the ABC's of a FICO credit score, from factors that can lower a score to ways to improve it.
As part of its ongoing outreach efforts to promote early and continuous financial education since 2000, Visa has helped to bridge the digital divide by donating computers to high schools around the country and providing schools with the Practical Money Skills for Life curriculum. In addition, Visa has provided teacher training on the program so that educators can maximize the program's many valuable resources and benefits.
About Visa Inc.
Visa is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable digital currency. Underpinning digital currency is one of the world's most advanced processing networks – VisaNet – that is capable of handling more than 10,000 transactions a second, with fraud protection for consumers and guaranteed payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank, and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa's innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: Pay now with debit, ahead of time with prepaid or later with credit products. For more information, visit usa.visa.com/about-visa/our_business.html.