San Francisco, CA – July 20, 2011 –Going above and beyond in the pursuit of financial literacy, Bay Area volunteer financial literacy educator, Veronica Dangerfield of Oakland, was recognized today by Visa Inc. as national "Innovative Educator" for the month of July.
Ms. Dangerfield is recognized for her work in helping families at Brighter Beginnings overcome their fear of finances. Brighter Beginnings is a non-profit organization that provides health care, education and job assistance to teenage parents and families in Alameda and Contra Costa counties.
Utilizing her strong banking background, Ms. Dangerfield has designed a money management curriculum and corresponding workshops to help students learn how to earn, budget and save their money. As a way to make her classes fun and engaging, Ms. Dangerfield gives students a "financial birthday," complete with a cake, as a way to celebrate a new beginning to their financial lives. As a testament to the success of Dangerfield's contributions, a single mother who completed the workshops was able to move out of a motel and into an apartment and another student was able to clean up her credit score after ten years of neglecting it, to name just a few.
"Many people are overcome with helplessness when it comes to handling their money, so in order to show people that financial literacy is not a root canal, I had to address how to make a class about finances fun," said Dangerfield. "If my students come away with the understanding that money is never a terminal problem and that they can have bright and successful financial futures then I can say I've done my job," Dangerfield added.
To learn more about how Ms. Dangerfield is helping her 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.
In recognition for her efforts, Visa honored Ms. Dangerfield at the opening ceremonies of a recent San Jose Earthquakes/Los Angeles Galaxy Major League Soccer Game.
"For many Americans, particularly young Americans, financial education does not begin at home and so it is critical that dynamic educators like Ms. Dangerfield 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. Dangerfield 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.