Media coverage of Treasurer Stenberg’s new conference can be found at these links:
State Treasurer Don Stenberg helped launch an initiative today at Gibbon High School to bring critical financial literacy education to high school students in Gibbon and across Nebraska at no charge to schools, students, or taxpayers.
The initiative, called Nebraska NEST Financial Scholars, is sponsored by the Nebraska Educational Savings Trust (NEST) and features an interactive, web-based financial education program developed by EverFi, Inc., an education technology company based in Washington, D.C. Treasurer Stenberg is Trustee of NEST, Nebraska’s 529 state-sponsored college savings program.
“Financial literacy is a critical life skill,” said Treasurer Stenberg. “Concepts of savings, credit, investment, interest rates, and mortgages surround us all every day in every way. Nebraska students need this essential knowledge to prepare them to make wise financial decisions in their lives. We are happy to work with EverFi to reimagine the way financial education is taught in schools today.”
In a news conference today in Gibbon, Treasurer Stenberg congratulated and thanked Gibbon High School, Principal Lorrie Miller, and business teacher Deb Stroh for being among the first in the state to adopt the Nebraska NEST Financial Scholars’ financial literacy program. He said he expected that the attention given to Gibbon’s program would encourage more schools, large and small, to seek teacher training with EverFi and access the instructional materials through Nebraska NEST Financial Scholars
Nebraska NEST Financial Scholars can be accessed by Nebraska high school teachers and students through the State Treasurer’s website at www.treasurer.org.
Gibbon High School is one of 17 Nebraska high schools to receive EverFi training sponsored by NEST. Another 42 Nebraska high schools received EverFi training earlier and have been using the program for the past one or two years through sponsorships by banks in their local communities.
“Last May, as the State Treasurer and as the Trustee of Nebraska’s college savings plan – the Nebraska Educational Savings Trust or NEST – I announced that NEST would be the statewide sponsor of the EverFi online financial education program for high school students in Nebraska. Two forces guided that decision: We wanted to encourage financial education statewide, and we wanted to increase awareness of the benefits of saving for college through NEST,” Treasurer Stenberg said.
“What that announcement means to Nebraska high schools is that the EverFi financial literacy program will be available to every high school student in the state at no cost to the high school or the student,” he said.
“I recognize that school budgets are tight and that new state standards require high schools to teach personal finance. I also know that students are eager to learn. And, as Trustee of the Nebraska Educational Savings Trust—or NEST—I understand the concerns facing families as they look for effective and responsible ways to save for their sons’ and daughters’ higher educational needs without incurring large debt or overly restricting family budgets.
“We are offering Nebraska NEST Financial Scholars because this program reinforces my strong belief—as State Treasurer and as a father and grandfather—that financial knowledge is an absolutely essential piece of a well-rounded education and a productive future. I believe that basic financial knowledge is critical to our goal of developing financially responsible, productive citizens who can move our state and our economy forward… and who will be able to manage their own finances and their families’ finances in an increasingly complex financial system,” the Treasurer said in remarks prepared for delivery at the news conference.
Sean Fitzgerald, executive vice president of EverFi, demonstrated the financial literacy platform at the news conference. The EverFi course is offered in 10 modules and covers more than six hours of programming that teaches and assesses students in important subjects regarding personal finances. To engage students, EverFi uses a variety of new media technologies including video, animation, 3-D gaming, avatars, and social networking. Students who complete the program receive certificates and badges they can post to their favorite social media platforms and refer to on their college applications or employment resumes.
NEST is a tax-advantaged 529 college savings plan and provides four plans to help make saving for college simple and affordable: NEST Direct College Savings Plan, the NEST Advisor College Savings Plan, the TD Ameritrade 529 College Savings Plan, and the State Farm College Savings Plan. The Nebraska State Treasurer serves as Program Trustee. First National Bank of Omaha serves as Program Manager, and all investments are approved by the Nebraska Investment Council. Families nationwide are saving for college using Nebraska’s 529 College Savings Plans, which have more than 261,000 accounts, including 84,000 in Nebraska. Visit NEST529.com and treasurer.nebraska.gov for more information.