Nebraska State Treasurer Don Stenberg awarded certificates today to 86 Alliance High School students who completed Nebraska NEST Financial Scholars, an online financial literacy program provided to schools by the Nebraska Educational Savings Trust (NEST).
“Congratulations and best wishes to all of you who have gained a greater understanding of personal finance through Nebraska NEST Financial Scholars and who have positioned yourselves to be smart consumers, wise investors, and financially responsible adults,” Treasurer Stenberg told the students in a recognition ceremony at Alliance High School.
“You represent more than 700 Nebraska high school students who have benefited – and will continue to benefit – from Nebraska NEST Financial Scholars,” Stenberg said. The online educational program was developed by EverFi, Inc., of Washington, D.C., and made available to schools through NEST. Joining Treasurer Stenberg at the ceremony was Sean Fitzgerald of Chicago, executive vice president of EverFi for the Midwest region.
While at the school, Stenberg also recognized a team of three students who took second place in the statewide Personal Finance Challenge competition April 19. Team members who took second place in the statewide competition are Roy Kesterson, Kolton Dubs, and Ryan Waggener. Their teacher is Susan Dimmitt.
Nebraska NEST Financial Scholars can be accessed by Nebraska high school teachers and students through the State Treasurer’s website at www.treasurer.org. NEST, the state-sponsored 529 college savings program, is a division of the Nebraska State Treasurer’s Office. Treasurer Stenberg, who is Trustee of NEST, announced in May 2013 that NEST would sponsor the EverFi program for schools across the state.
“Two objectives guided that decision: I wanted to encourage financial literacy education statewide, and I wanted to increase awareness of the benefits of savings for college through NEST,” Stenberg said.
In all, 74 schools in Nebraska are making the NEST Financial Scholars program available to their students at no charge to the schools, the students, or the taxpayers. To date, more than 2,000 students have been reached through the program in some way, and more than 700 have been certified as NEST Financial Scholars. In another 42 Nebraska schools, the EverFi program has been provided through the sponsorship or co-sponsorship of local banks.
While NEST has provided initial seed funding for the statewide sponsorship, EverFi continues to work with banks, foundations, and corporations to seek additional funding to make sure that high school students across Nebraska have access to financial literacy education through the EverFi program.
“Financial literacy is a critical life skill,” Treasurer Stenberg said at the certification ceremony in the Performing Arts Center at Alliance High School. “Concepts of savings, credit, investments, interest rates, and mortgages surround us all every day. As students, you need this essential knowledge to make wise financial decisions in your lifetimes. I am pleased to work with Nebraska teachers and EverFi to reimagine the way financial education is taught today.”
Treasurer Stenberg recognized Minden High School students who completed the Nebraska NEST Financial Scholars program in a certification ceremony Tuesday, April 23, and will present certificates to students at Tekamah-Herman High School, his alma mater, and Lincoln Christian High School on Tuesday, April 29.
EverFi’s web-based teaching platform uses new media technologies—video, animations, 3-D gaming, avatars, and social networking—to bring complex financial concepts to life for today’s digital generation. Topics include credit cards, credit scores, insurance, mortgages, savings, stocks, student loans, taxes, 401 (k) plans, and other personal finance concepts that meet national financial literacy standards. The course is presented in 10 modules and takes about eight hours to complete.
Each student who completes the course earns a Certification in Financial Literacy, which can be used on social media platforms and on college admission applications and employment resumes.
EverFi, Inc. is the leading education technology company focused on teaching, assessing, and certifying K-12 and college students in the critical skills they need for life. The company teams with major corporations and foundations to provide the programs at no cost to K-12 schools. Some of America’s leading CEOs and venture capital firms are EverFi investors including Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, Twitter founder Evan Williams, Rethink Education, New Enterprise Associates, Inc., and Tomorrow Ventures (the investment arm of Google Chairman Eric Schmidt). Learn more at www.everfi.com.
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.