Columbia, South Carolina – May 28, 2010 – Tackling the problem of financial illiteracy among South Carolina teenagers head-on, State Treasurer Converse Chellis and Visa Inc., with help from Carolina Panthers Running Back DeAngelo Williams, today announced the statewide rollout of an effort to improve the money management skills of high school students. Treasurer Chellis will be distributing free copies of "Financial Football" - an interactive money management video game with an NFL theme - to every high school in South Carolina.
Treasurer Chellis kicked off this new financial literacy campaign today at Brookland Cayce High School with help from Visa officials and DeAngelo Williams. Williams shared his personal experiences on the importance of money management with students from Brookland Cayce High School. Treasurer Chellis and Williams then rolled up their sleeves and led student teams in a lively game of "Financial Football."
The centerpiece of Visa’s nationwide educational initiative with the NFL and NFL PLAYERS, "Financial Football" helps students tackle their financial futures. This computer-based game is accompanied by a classroom curriculum. As part of this initiative, Visa Inc. has also donated a new mobile computer lab to Brookland Cayce High School. The 10 Apple MacBooks being given to the school are laptops, which allow students and teachers to use them throughout the school.
"Financial Football is a great 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 and the NFL," said Treasurer Chellis.
"High school kids need to know how to make smart money management decisions before heading off to college or entering the workforce," said Williams. "It takes the combined efforts of parents, teachers and mentors within the community to give teenagers a strong background in personal finance."
Demonstrating broad-based support for having financial education begin at home and extend to the classroom, a recent study released by Visa shows 91 percent of consumers surveyed believe all high school students should take a financial education class before graduating.
Visa and Treasurer Chellis hope "Financial Football" can help South Carolina teens do just that. Available online at www.southcarolina.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. To score points, a team needs to answer a series of money management questions correctly. Wrong answers and penalties can cost a team yardage. The team with the highest point total after four quarters wins the game.
This launch is part of a national educational campaign with Visa, the NFL and NFL PLAYERS, now in its fifth season. Since 2006, Visa has reached agreements with twenty-six states to distribute "Financial Football" to every high school in those states, including South Carolina. The other states are Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin.
"For over a decade, Visa has been committed to promoting financial literacy and we are proud to assist Treasurer Chellis in his efforts to strengthen financial education throughout South Carolina," 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, 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 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 Treasurer Converse Chellis
Converse Chellis was elected as South Carolina’s State Treasurer on August 3, 2007 by the South Carolina General Assembly. Prior to becoming State Treasurer, Mr. Chellis served as State Representative from District 94 for eleven years. During his tenure in the General Assembly, Mr. Chellis was a member of the Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee where he served as Chairman of the Banking and Consumer Affairs Sub-Committee and as Chairman of the Business and Commerce Sub-Committee. Mr. Chellis also served as Chairman the House Rules Committee. In addition to his role as State Treasurer, Mr. Chellis serves as Chairman of the State Board of Financial Institutions, a member of the State Investment Commission, and a member of the State’s Budget and Control Board. Mr. Chellis is a CPA and served as president of the South Carolina Association of CPA's. Mr. Chellis is a graduate of The Citadel and served as a Captain in the United States Air Force. Converse Chellis brings to the State Treasurer's Office a strong financial background and a comprehensive knowledge of the State’s budgetary process as well as the financial structure of state government. During his first two years in office he has been committed to protecting our state’s financial assets while maximizing the State's investments. His efforts have already saved taxpayers over $4 billion dollars. www.treasurer.sc.gov.