Chicago, IL – November 8, 2011 – Tackling the problem of financial illiteracy among local students, Chicago Bears' Running Back Matt Forte and Corner Back Charles Tillman, U.S. Rep. Judy Biggert, and Visa Inc. today showcased an effort to improve the money management skills of high school students. This free educational video game and classroom curriculum, called Financial Football, was developed by Visa Inc.
Rep. Biggert kicked off this financial literacy initiative today at Bolingbrook High School with help from Bears' Matt Forte, Charles Tillman and Visa officials. Forte and Tillman shared their personal experiences on the importance of money management with the students. Rep. Biggert, Forte and Tillman then rolled up their sleeves and led student teams in a hard-fought, high energy game of Financial Football.
"In today's increasingly complex financial marketplace, it's critically important that students enter the workforce with the knowledge and tools they need to make sound economic decisions, manage risk, and avoid financial pitfalls," said Biggert, senior member of both the House Committees on Financial Services and Education and the Workforce. "Fun and engaging tools like Financial Football are a great way to help set today's youth on the path to a more prosperous future as business leaders, entrepreneurs, and smart customers. I'm thrilled to be joining Chicago Bears greats Matt Forte and Charles Tillman to coach the students at Bolingbrook High School in a friendly competition of Financial Football."
"Kids need to know how to make smart money management decisions early in life," said Forte. "It takes the combined efforts of parents, teachers and mentors within the community to give teenagers a strong background in personal finance."
"In today's challenging economy, it is even more important to find creative ways to educate kids on how to make sound financial decisions and protect their financial futures," said Tillman.
Financial Football helps students and adults tackle their financial futures. Available online at www.practicalmoneyskills.com/football, Financial Football puts students' fiscal knowledge to the test in an online simulation game environment by combining the structure and rules of the NFL with financial education questions of varying difficulty. Visa has also released the game as a free iPhone app on iTunes, along with an optimized HD iPad version.
"For over a decade, Visa has been committed to promoting financial literacy and we are proud to assist Rep. Biggert in her efforts to strengthen financial education in the state of Illinois," said Jason Alderman, Senior Director of Global Financial Education, Visa Inc.
This initiative is part of a national educational campaign with Visa, the NFL and NFL PLAYERS, now in its seventh season. Since 2006, Visa has reached agreements with thirty-two states to distribute Financial Football to every high school and middle school in those states, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin.
Financial Football is part of Practical Money Skills for Life (www.practicalmoneyskills.com) a free, award-winning financial education program that reaches millions of people around the world each year. Launched in 1995, the program is now available in ten languages in thirty countries. At Practical Money Skills for Life, educators, parents and students can access free educational resources including personal finance articles, games, lesson plans, and more. Visa also runs What's My Score (www.whatsmyscore.org), a leading higher education consumer awareness program.
About U.S. Rep. Judy Biggert
A lifelong Illinois resident, U.S. Representative Judy Biggert combines a wealth of experience as a legislator, lawyer, and community leader to serve the residents of Illinois' 13th Congressional District. Prior to her election to Congress in 1998, she served in the Illinois House of Representatives, was the School Board President of Hinsdale Township High School District 86, and was chairman or president of a half dozen other civic and charitable organizations. Currently serving her seventh term, Congresswoman Biggert is a member of three committees – Financial Services, Education & the Workforce, and Science, Space & Technology. She also is a founding member and co-chair of the House Financial & Economic Literacy Caucus, which promotes exemplary programs in financial education. Financial Football is one of several annual events Biggert participates in each year to educate young people about practical money management skills.
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 20,000 transaction messages 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.