Washington, DC – October 18, 2011 – Tackling the problem of financial illiteracy among Washington, DC teenagers head-on, Redskins' Linebacker Brian Orakpo, Mayor Vincent Gray, the National Consumers League (NCL), and Visa Inc. today announced the District-wide rollout of a new 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
Mayor Gray kicked off this new financial literacy campaign today at Wilson High School with help from Redskins' Brian Orakpo, NCL and Visa officials. Also in attendance were Josh Wright, Acting Director for the Office of Financial Education and Financial Access in the Department of the Treasury and Gail Hillebrand, Associate Director of Consumer Education and Engagement for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Orakpo shared his personal experiences on the importance of money management with local students. Mayor Gray and Orakpo, with the help of Wright and Hillebrand, 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 game is accompanied by a classroom curriculum and is being distributed by the Mayor's office to every public middle and high school in Washington, DC.
"Financial Football is a wonderful way to get students interested in personal finances and gives them a financial playbook they can use the rest of their lives. This is a valuable program and a great partnership between my office, NCL, Visa, and the NFL," said Mayor Gray.
"Kids need to know how to make smart money management decisions early in life," said Orakpo. "It takes the combined efforts of parents, teachers and mentors within the community to give teenagers a strong background in personal finance."
Available online, at www.dc.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 has also released the game as a free iPhone app on iTunes, along with an optimized HD iPad version.
The National Consumers League, the nation's oldest consumer organization and coordinator of the LifeSmarts program, is working with Visa to incorporate Financial Football into the personal finance curriculum area of the multi-faceted LifeSmarts program.
"The marketplace has never been more challenging for consumers – and teens have never been such a powerful and vulnerable segment. We are thrilled to be a part of this event with the Mayor and grateful for Visa's generous support in making these valuable resources available to students and educators here in the District," said Sally Greenberg, Executive Director, NCL. "We look forward to integrating Financial Football into the personal finance component of the national LifeSmarts program."
"For over a decade, Visa has been committed to promoting financial literacy and we are proud to assist Mayor Gray and NCL in their efforts to strengthen financial education," said Jason Alderman, Senior Director of Global Financial Education, Visa Inc.
This launch is part of a national educational campaign with Visa, the NFL and NFL PLAYERS, now in its seventh season. Since 2006, Visa has reached agreements with thirty states to distribute Financial Football to every high school and middle school in those states, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin.
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.
About the National Consumers League and LifeSmarts
The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America's pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org.
LifeSmarts is a program of the National Consumers League. State coordinators run the programs on a volunteer basis. For more information, visit: www.lifesmarts.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org , or call the National Consumers League's communications department at (202)835-3323.
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.