FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 20, 2021-Washington, D.C.- This coming April, the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy will present three distinguished awards during its Financial Literacy Month events and honoree luncheon on April 6, 2022, at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill.
William Cheeks will receive the William E. Odom Visionary Leadership Award for his 50-year service in the field of financial literacy. Mr. Cheeks spent over 34 years at Equifax, Inc. – eventually becoming Vice President of Consumer Education. He then founded ABBA Associates, a financial literacy consulting firm where he guided national organizations including GMAC, Ally Financial, Experian, the Coalition for Improved Credit Education, and the Jump$tart Coalition to achieve their vision in the financial literacy space. Through his work with the Jumpstart Coalition, he worked tirelessly to support affiliated state coalitions, mentoring many new state leaders and inspiring countless teachers to improve their knowledge and skills for teaching personal finance.
Pockets Change will receive the 2022 Innovation Award for its creativity and ingenuity and its ability to connect financial topics to a diverse audience. Inspiring financial conversations across generations, Pockets Change Hip Hop pedagogy promotes youth-led learning and professional relationship building for social impact “to address systemic issues of education equity and the racial wealth divide”. Their HipHopFinFest annual concert brings together learners and leaders to change the way we talk about money. Students and artists create songs that unpack systems, express personal values, and inspire advocacy.
Jump$tart’s State Coalition of the Year 2022 Award will be awarded to the Louisiana Jump$tart Coalition. Under the leadership and direction of state coalition president, Blaine Grimes, Louisiana Jump$tart Coalition and its 37 partners remained engaged in financial education efforts with Louisiana schools, businesses, and educators even through the challenges of the COVID-19 Pandemic and Hurricane Ida. Through strategic partnering with the East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor/President’s office, they were able to share additional information on educational opportunities through a shared city-wide financial education series. The Louisiana Jump$tart Coalition also collaborated closely with the national Jump$tart Financial Inclusion Initiative (JFII) to develop a pilot program that will serve East Baton Rouge and two other Louisiana parishes.
The Federal Leadership Award is still under consideration, and we hope to make an announcement soon. Additional information about the Annual Awards Luncheon will be released in January.
Financial Literacy Month is a nationwide, collaborative endeavor marked by a variety of activities and events across the country and throughout the month of April. It’s when the financial community celebrates achievements in improving the financial literacy of all Americans – especially our nation’s youth. Founded by Jump$tart more than two decades ago, Financial Literacy Month-sometimes referred to as National Capability Month, continues to raise awareness about the importance of financial literacy and promote effective financial education in schools. Whatever the label, the effort to raise awareness about the importance of financial literacy and the need for effective financial education is a cooperative mission and a shared goal of the organizations within the Jump$tart Coalition.
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