FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 5, 2007
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U.S. Representative Ruben Hinojosa Honored for Commitment to Financial Education
Texas Congressman Receives First National 'Visa Legislator of the Year for Excellence in Financial Literacy Education' Award
San Francisco, CA – October 5, 2007 – Visa Inc. and the Institute for Financial Literacy announced today that U.S. Representative Ruben Hinojosa (D-TX-15) has been named the first recipient of the Institute's "Visa Legislator of the Year for Excellence in Financial Literacy Education" Award. Today's announcement was made during the Institute for Financial Literacy's second Annual Conference on Financial Education being held in Dallas, Texas.
"Financial literacy means empowerment – power to manage money, credit, and debt and become responsible workers, heads of households, investors, and entrepreneurs," said Representative Hinojosa. "However, too many consumers today don't really understand their finances. It is imperative that all of us take an active role in providing financial and economic education for children and adults alike."
Currently serving his sixth term in Congress, Representative Hinojosa, among his many leadership roles and responsibilities, is Co-Founder and Co-Chair of the U.S. House of Representatives Financial and Economic Literacy Caucus (FELC). The Caucus provides a forum for Members of Congress to promote policies to advance financial literacy and economic education, and highlight successful policies at the federal, state and local levels, as well as private sector and nonprofit best practices and policies and activities of community-based organizations.
"Congressman Hinojosa has not only been a tireless champion of financial education but through his leadership has helped to shine a national spotlight on the problem of financial illiteracy and how best to combat it," said Jason Alderman, director of financial education for Visa Inc.
As part of its second Annual Conference on Financial Education, The Institute for Financial Literacy has created the Excellence in Financial Literacy and Education Awards to recognize individuals who have displayed an exceptional commitment to supporting and bringing a creative approach to personal finance learning. The Institute's "Visa Legislator of the Year for Excellence in Financial Literacy Education" Award is given to the elected official who has made a significant difference in improving the financial literacy level in America.
"Congressman Hinojosa was the clear choice to win this award because of his tireless passion and dedication to a critical issue of financial education," said Leslie E. Linfield, the Executive Director and Founder of the Institute for Financial Literacy.
Visa Inc. runs the Practical Money Skills for Life program (www.practicalmoneyskills.com), an award-winning, teacher-tested and teacher-approved financial education program that is available in English, Spanish and Chinese. The program contains three comprehensive sections, complete with money management resources and lesson plans tailored for use at home, in the classroom or at work. It also contains an array of tips to help prepare for life changing financial events, from planning for a baby to saving for college and retirement, as well as a number of other budget calculators and interactive games.
Visa Inc. also runs What's My Score, a leading higher education consumer awareness initiative that guides young adults through the ABC's of a FICO credit score, from factors that can lower a score, to ways on improving it.
Additionally, Visa Inc. has joined with personal finance expert Jean Chatzky. A best-selling author who appears regularly on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" and "The Today Show", as well as hosting a daily radio program on Oprah & Friends (XM 156), Ms. Chatzky is collaborating with Visa Inc. to promote financial literacy nationwide through a number of Practical Money Skills for Life and What's My Score outreach activities.
About Visa USA
Visa USA is a leading payments brand and the nation's largest payments system, enabling banks to provide their consumer and business customers with a wide variety of payment alternatives tailored to meet their evolving needs. Visa USA is committed to increasing the choice, convenience, acceptance and security of Visa payments for all stakeholders – financial institutions, cardholders and merchants. As of March 31, 2007, in the United States, more than 521 million Visa-branded cards have been issued by more than 13,000 financial institution customers. Visa products generated $1.8 trillion in total volume in the United States during the four quarters ended March 31, 2007. Visa enjoys unsurpassed acceptance around the globe. For more information, visit www.visa.com.
For more information or to schedule an interview with a Visa USA spokesperson, please contact Steve Burke at (703) 946-5737.
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