FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 4, 2007
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
(703) 683-5004, ext. 118
Visa USA, Wachovia and Houston Texans Linebacker DeMeco Ryans Teach Houston Students How to Tackle Their Financial Futures
Interactive "Financial Football" Game and Program Helps Wheatley High School Students Cross Real-Life Money Goal Line
Houston, TX – January 4, 2007 – Going on offense to advance financial literacy, today, Visa USA, Wachovia, the NFL and PLAYERS INC have teamed up with Houston Texans Linebacker DeMeco Ryans to engage Houston high school students in a different kind of football game - one that prepares them to become fiscally fit adults. Called "Financial Football," this animated, money management computer game is the centerpiece of a 17-city Visa/NFL initiative to promote youth financial literacy around the country.
"Learning the fundamentals of money management at an early age gives young people a real advantage in meeting their own financial goals," said DeMeco Ryans to a room full of students and teachers at Wheatley High School. "Managing money and finances is a vital life skill, and one that is best taught, and learned, before high school graduation."
Huddled in the Wheatley High School Library, DeMeco Ryans coached the "home team" comprised of half the students while Lori Vetters, president, Wachovia’s Houston Gulf Coast Region, headed up the "visiting team." Together, the two engaged students in a friendly game of "Financial Football." The content, developed with the cooperation of the NFL and its players, incorporates lessons taught through Practical Money Skills for Life, Visa’s free, award-winning money management program.
"Financial Football" combines the structure and rules of the NFL with financial education questions of varying difficulty. To score points, a team needs to answer questions correctly. And, just like in the NFL, penalties can cost a team yardage. The team with the highest point total after four quarters wins the game.
Today’s event is the 16th stop of this educational campaign. Last year was the inaugural season for this national effort between Visa, the NFL and PLAYERS INC to get students engaged and excited about their financial futures. In addition to being a game, this year "Financial Football" is also a week-long financial literacy program designed for high school instruction.
"Equipping our nation’s youth with a roadmap to financial freedom and success really needs to be a cooperative effort between schools, the community and government," said Wheatley High School Principal Wiley Johnson III. "By working together, we are preparing them to make wise financial decisions for a lifetime."
"Wachovia is proud to participate in ‘Financial Football’ with our partners at Visa and the Houston Texans," said Wachovia President Lori Vetters. "We have a long history with the Texans and an even longer history supporting education in the region. Mixing financial skills with football is clearly a winning combination in preparing kids for healthy financial futures, and we’re glad to be a part of it."
In addition to helping coach the "Financial Football" game, Wachovia also announced that it will open a savings account for each of the Wheatley High School students who participated in today’s event. To help students get an early start on the road to financial responsibility, Wachovia will put $20 into each of these accounts.
"Financial Football" is part of Practical Money Skills for Life (www.PracticalMoneySkills.com), a comprehensive financial literacy program - available in English, Spanish and Chinese – that teaches young adults personal finance skills.
"Visa is proud of its long standing commitment to financial education and greatly appreciates the assistance we received today from DeMeco Ryans," said Jason Alderman, director, Visa USA. "We take great pride in our NFL sponsorship, which is enabling us to work with so many talented players to give students the tools, resources and encouragement they need to become more financially literate."
This free, educational resource provides teachers with lesson plans (kindergarten-college) mapped to their state education requirements. For students, there are interactive games and calculators designed to teach responsibility and important concepts such as earning, saving and budgeting money.
About Visa USA
Visa USA is the nation's leading payment brand and largest payment system, enabling banks to provide their consumers and business customers with a wide variety of payment alternatives tailored to meet their evolving needs. Visa USA is committed to increasing the choice, convenience, acceptance and security of Visa payments for all stakeholders in the payment system — members, cardholders and merchants. Through its 13,369 member financial institutions, more than 500 million Visa-branded cards have been issued to cardholders in the United States.
Worldwide, cardholders in more than 150 countries carry more than 1 billion Visa-branded cards, accounting for more than $3 trillion in annual transaction volume. VisaNet, Visa’s global processing system and the world’s largest financial network, processes transactions with unparalleled reliability.
Visa offers a trusted, reliable and convenient way to access and mobilize financial resources — anytime, anywhere, anyway.
Wachovia Corporation (NYSE:WB) is one of the nation’s largest diversified financial services companies, providing a broad range of banking, brokerage, wealth management and investment banking services. Wachovia has retail and commercial banking operations reaching from Connecticut to Florida and west to Texas and California. Other nationwide businesses include brokerage services, mortgage lending and auto finance. Online banking is available at wachovia.com; online brokerage products and services at wachoviasec.com, and investment products and services at evergreeninvestments.com. At September 30, 2006, Wachovia's combined pro-forma assets were approximately $700 billion and combined market capitalization was $107 billion.
For more information or to schedule an interview with a Visa USA spokesperson, please contact Romney Willson at (703) 683-5004, ext. 118 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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