San Francisco, CA – September 30, 2011 – Going above and beyond in the pursuit of financial literacy, Dora Walker of Los Angeles, California was recognized today by Visa Inc. as national "Innovative Educator" for the month of September.
Utilizing her over 20 years of teaching experience in both the Los Angeles Unified School District and the East St. Louis School District, in 2006 Ms. Walker founded Liberators, Inc., a non-profit organization that assists teachers in urban schools with the tools and resources to help students take control of their futures, including financially.
"Many students, including at-risk youth, lack a basic understanding of finances and so the focus of our organization is to help them understand that fast money isn't always good money," said Walker. "Our goal is to help students understand how financial success translates into success in life and one of the best ways to do that is in the context of helping them set career goals," Walker added.
To learn more about how Ms. Walker is helping her students tackle their financial futures, including how she had a positive impact on one student, 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. Walker are on the front lines in the effort to make sure young people understand financial basics," said Jason Alderman, Visa's senior director of financial education. "Ms. Walker 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 e-newsletter with over 70,000 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.