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Financial Education for Everyone

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April 8, 2013

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Albuquerque, NM – April 8, 2013 – Denver Broncos tight end Joel Dreessen joined New Mexico State Treasurer James Lewis, State Auditor Hector Balderas, New Mexico Jump$tart and Visa Inc. today to tackle head on the issue of financial literacy improvement among New Mexico teens. They announced a statewide effort to improve the money management skills of high school and middle school students with the rollout of Financial Football, a free educational video game and classroom curriculum developed by Visa Inc.

State Auditor Balderas and State Treasurer Lewis kicked off this financial literacy campaign today at Albuquerque High School with help from Dreessen, Jump$tart and Visa officials. Dreessen shared his personal experiences on the importance of money management with students. Dreessen Lewis and Balderas then rolled up their sleeves and led student teams in a hard-fought, high energy game of Financial Football. Teams were from Albuquerque High School, the host of the game.

"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," said Auditor Balderas. "This is a valuable program and a great partnership between my office, Treasurer Lewis's office, New Mexico Jump$tart Coalition, Visa, and the NFL."

"It is so critical for young people to learn smart money management skills. They are basic building blocks for success in today's competitive and changing world," said Treasurer Lewis. "I am pleased that students will be able to learn these valuable skills in a fun and entertaining way."

"The New Mexico Jump$tart Coalition is been dedicated to promoting and improving the personal financial literacy of New Mexico's young," said Adrian Trujillo, New Mexico Jump$tart, Chairperson. "With helpful resources, such as Financial Football, we are not only teaching students how to balance checkbooks, we are improving lives."

The centerpiece of Visa's nationwide educational initiative with the NFL and NFL PLAYERS, Financial Football helps students and adults tackle their financial futures. The game is accompanied by a classroom curriculum and Auditor Balderas' office is leading the effort to distribute the game to every public middle and high school the state of New Mexico.

"Kids need to learn to make smart money management decisions early in life," said Denver Broncos tight end Joel Dreessen. "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.newmexico.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 Android or iOS app.

"For over a decade, Visa has been committed to promoting financial literacy and we are proud to assist Auditor Balderas and Treasurer Lewis in their efforts to strengthen financial education," said Nat Sillin, Head of U.S. 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-seven states and the District of Columbia to distribute Financial Football to every high school and middle school in those states, including Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, 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 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 20,000 transaction messages 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 https://usa.visa.com/about-visa/our_business.html.


Contact: info@practicalmoneyskills.com