For Immediate Release: February 26, 2019
PHOENIX, AZ – With student loan debt at an astounding $1.6 trillion, Champion for Success has taken action to fulfill an important need by creating a pilot program teaching financial literacy education. In 2018 Champion for Success launched the program by offering a 90-minute financial literacy class developed specifically for high school-aged students, with a presentation designed to engage and encourage class participation on topics such as budgeting, banking, understanding credit concepts, credit scores, and the different types of debt.
For nearly 30 years Champions Companies has served on behalf of higher education schools to mentor college-aged borrowers on student loan repayment options and provide default prevention. The nonprofit, Champion for Success, was created so that Champions Companies could reach the growing number of teens leaving high school and entering college with little to no financial literacy education and provide students with knowledge before they borrow student loans. Statistics from Youth.Gov show the need to reach the teens that the Champion for Success program targets. For example:
- A survey of 15-year-olds in the U.S. found that 18% of respondents did not learn fundamental financial skills that are often applied in everyday situations, such as building a simple budget, comparison shopping, and understanding an invoice.
- A report on the results of a financial literacy exam found that high school seniors scored on average 48% correct.
- The average debt of students when they graduated from college rose from $18,550 (in 2004) to $28,950
(in 2014), an increase of 56%.
- From 2004 to 2009, the median credit card debt among college students increased 74%.
Champion companies Training and Education Manager CeCe Keeto said: “In just the first year we have reached over 600 Arizona students and the dire need for this valuable information couldn’t be more evident. Students are given a pre-assessment that consists of questions on finances and a post-assessment is given after each class. Based on the students’ answers before taking the class, many did not understand basic financial literacy concepts, such as knowing the difference between gross and net income and a startling number believed they get their credit score by taking a test. The average grade for pre-assessments was barely passing at 70%, and I am pleased to report that the average post-assessment grade was 84%. I know we are making a huge difference in 90-short minutes!”
Champion for Success plans to expand this program to share these important basic “real world” skills to other age groups, including adults. Champion is grateful to the 16 Arizona schools who have welcomed Champion to teach their students Financial Literacy 101 and encourage schools to contact CeCe Keeto at 480-222-4304 to receive information on bringing the programs into your school.
In 2018, Champion for Success presented Financial Literacy 101 at these schools:
AAEC High School – South Mountain
Arcadia High School
Arizona College Preparatory
Canyon State Academy – Boys
Canyon State Academy – Girls
Career Success North
Career Success Tech
EDOptions High School Learning Center
Girls Leadership Academy
Intelli School – Metro Center
Maya High School
Pascua Yaqui Tribe
RCB College Preparatory Academy
Summit High School
West Maricopa Education Cent / WestMEC