Bay St. Louis, MS – September 13, 2010 – Tackling the problem of financial illiteracy among Mississippi teenagers head-on, New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees, State Treasurer Tate Reeves and Visa Inc. today announced the statewide rollout of an effort to improve the money management skills of high school and middle school students. This free educational video game and classroom curriculum called Financial Football was developed by Visa Inc. and features Brees on the cover as well as questions created by the Super Bowl XLIV MVP himself.
Treasurer Reeves kicked off this new financial literacy campaign today at Bay High School with help from Brees and Visa officials. A longtime advocate of promoting financial education in schools around the country, Brees shared his personal experiences on the importance of money management with students from Bay High School. Treasurer Reeves and Brees then rolled up their sleeves and led student teams in a hard-fought, high energy game of Financial Football.
The centerpiece of Visa's nationwide educational initiative with the NFL and NFL PLAYERS, Financial Football helps students and adults tackle their financial futures. This free, newly reinvented game is accompanied by a classroom curriculum and is being distributed by Treasurer Reeves to every public middle and high school in Mississippi.
"Financial Football is a wonderful way to get students interested in personal finances and give them a financial playbook they can use the rest of their lives. This is a valuable program and a great partnership between my office, Visa, Drew Brees and the NFL," said Treasurer Reeves.
"Kids need to know how to make smart money management decisions early in life," said Brees. "It takes the combined efforts of parents, teachers and mentors within the community to give teenagers a strong background in personal finance."
Youth financial illiteracy is a serious and growing problem. According to a survey by Visa Inc., 93% of Americans believe all high school students should be required to take a class in financial education.
Available online, at www.mississippi.financialfootball.com, 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 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 Treasurer Reeves in his efforts to strengthen financial education throughout Mississippi," said Jason Alderman, Senior Director of Financial Education, Visa Inc.
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. The website guides college students through the ABC's of a FICO credit score, from factors that can lower a score to ways on improving it, at no charge.
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 .
About State Treasurer Tate Reeves
Tate Reeves was elected as Mississippi's fifty-third Treasurer on November 4, 2003 and re-elected to a second term in 2007 with the highest percentage (61%) of any candidate running for statewide office. He is the first Republican treasurer in the state's history. Tate is a Rankin County native and a graduate of Florence High School. He is an honors graduate of Millsaps College and holds a bachelor's degree in economics.
Tate was recently elected by his peers to serve as President of the Mississippi Republican Elected Officials Association. Furthermore, he was recently named as one of forty-two national "Rising Star(s) in the Republican Party" by Rising Tide magazine – the publication of the Republican National Committee. In December 2008, he was selected by the Aspen Institute's Rodel Fellowships in Public Leadership as one of their "Top Young Elected Officials" to its Fourth Class of Aspen-Rodel Fellows.
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