PROVIDENCE, RI: On Saturday, December 9, 2017, the RI Jump$tart Coalition and RI Council for Economic Education held the 4th Financial Capability Conference at Rhode Island College – a free, day-long, annual event designed to provide educators, social service providers, veterans, and librarians with a wealth of resources and information to build financial knowledge and capability.
This year’s conference once again attracted more than 100 participants from Rhode Island and Massachusetts, who came together to share ideas and resources that can advance financial literacy in the state and region. The program was focused on building educators’ awareness for the Council for Economic Education’s standards, which were adopted in RI in November 2014.
Distinguished speakers included RIC President Frank Sanchez and RIC Vice President Jen Giroux; RI Post-Secondary Commissioner Brenda Dann-Messier; RI Congressman Jim Langevin, and RI Treasury Director of Outreach and Constituent Relations Charon Rose. In addition, RI Senator Jack Reed and Nan Morrison, CEO of Council for Economic Education, each conveyed positive and supportive messages to conference attendees via their respective videos.
Keynote speaker Next Gen Personal Finance CEO Tim Ranzetta shared valuable information about recent research his organization has done on financial education being taught in high schools across the U.S., and about NGPF curriculum resources. NextGen PF will be hosting a FinCamp for RI teachers at RIC on February 5, 2018. Teresa Pelletier, Head of New England Community Relations at Fidelity Investments, introduced Fidelity’s exciting new personal financial distance learning portal. Kerri McLaughlin, Financial Education Coordinator at Pawtucket Credit Union, provided educators with extensive information about credit report resources for the classroom.
Other conference presenters included John Hupalo, CEO Invite Education; Kara LaBelle, Johnson and Wales University; Dominic Nocera, Teacher at RI Training School for Youth and RIC Adjunct; Arindam Nag CEO Centsai; Al Cumplido, RISCPA and Independence Financial Partners; Pat Page East Greenwich High and Joy Tavano North Kingstown High; Cedric Turner, CEO Empower Yourself LTD; Tony Coia, CEO Moneywatch LTD; David Miles, Young Investors Society; Scott Guild, CEO of MA Council on Economic Education; and Ethan Goebel, Program Manager at WISE-NY.
In addition, this year’s conference featured a panel discussion that focused on the unique financial needs of veterans and military families. This panel, led by moderator RI Veterans Affairs Director Kasim Yarn, provided important information from each of the panel’s experts: Ernest Almonte, Partner at Assurance Services; Marco Capaldi, Financial Coach at Armed Forces Services Corporation; and Michaela Black Estrella, Coordinator of Veterans Services at RIC and CCRI.
Conference participants gained extensive financial education knowledge by attending the presenters’ sessions throughout the day. They also had the opportunity to visit a variety of exhibits to learn more about what government agencies, financial institutions, businesses, and organizations are doing to promote financial literacy. Student volunteers from local high schools and colleges were on hand to assist with running the conference, as well as provide their own perspectives on the issues being discussed.
According to Senator Jack Reed, “Everyone needs the tools and know-how to manage their personal finances and to make informed decisions. I am proud that Rhode Island continues to lead the way in promoting financial literacy. I would like to thank the Rhode Island Jump$tart Coalition, the Rhode Island Council on Economic Education, Rhode Island College, and all the sponsors and presenters who have made this conference possible.”
The 4th Financial Capability Conference was organized by the RI Jump$tart Coalition and the RI Council for Economic Education, and generously hosted by Rhode Island College for the fourth consecutive year. Fidelity Investments and Pawtucket Credit Union were Platinum Sponsors for the conference. Rhode Island Student Loan Authority, Next Gen Personal Finance, Rhode Island College and Bridgewater State University were Gold Sponsors. The Plutus Foundation was a Silver Sponsor, and Alex and Ani, Allied Conservation, and Invite Education were Supporters. Many others contributed to support the conference as Friends and Exhibitors as well. Thanks to everyone who sponsored and supported the 4th Financial Capability Conference.