College and Career Readiness Theme for Financial Education Day

Karen Schwartz-Decker from our communications group contributed to this post.

_IMG_9260Last week, almost 100 students and their teachers from five Bay Area high schools and one adult school convened at the San Francisco Fed to learn about the importance of personal finance skills in planning for college and careers. This was the second annual Federal Reserve Financial Education Day, which was established as a day of workshops at Feds around the System to provide tools for making wise choices when investing in education and planning for the future. The SF Fed Economic Education Group hosted the event.

_IMG_9222In a series of morning breakout sessions, the students participated in a hands-on personal finance workshop facilitated by Lorraine Thayer and learned about the purposes and functions of the Fed from Steven Fisher. They also attended a session to learn about ways of financing college though scholarships.  The presentation was delivered by Rema Oxandaboure, but was developed by Joel Bervell, a Yale undergraduate from Seattle who collected over $200,000 in scholarships before graduating from high school.

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Janet Yellen Speaks Out on Inequality and Opportunity in America

2014-10-27 Yellen at FRB BostonLast week, the Chair of the Federal Reserve Janet Yellen spoke about inequality and opportunity in America. Her remarks were based on recent results from the Federal Reserve’s triennial Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF). The survey includes roughly 6,000 U.S. households and provides specific details about their income, wealth, and debt. This look at family balance sheets formed the basis for Chair Yellen’s remarks on inequality and economic opportunity in the U.S.

You can watch the video, read the full speech, and view the slides at the bottom of this page.

I wanted to highlight for you the four building blocks of economic opportunity that were identified by Chair Yellen in her speech, along with some supporting charts from the survey. In future posts, we’ll dive more deeply into the topic of inequality.

Four Building Blocks of Economic Opportunity in America

#1. Resources Available for Children

2014-10-24 Yellen 1 Fig 9Figure 9 above shows that access to quality early childhood education has improved since the 1990s, but it remains limited–41% of children were enrolled in state or federally supported programs in 2013.

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Teacher Spotlight: Amy Evers

TeacherSpotlightEvers4Our Spotlight series continues this week, where we talk with teachers who are making a difference in the field of economic education.

In today’s installment, we’re talking with Amy Evers, who teaches AP U.S. government, AP economics (macro and micro), US government honors, and “We are the People” at Clark High School in Las Vegas, NV.

Here is what she had to say:

How long have you been teaching economics?  What do you love most about it?

This is my sixth year teaching economics. Initially when I was told I would teach the class I not excited at all! I struggled with economics in college and was concerned that I would only confuse students since I was quite confused as well. However, I saw it as a challenge that I had to overcome.

I spent the summer teaching myself economics and went to an AP Economics Summer Institute for additional help. The first year was difficult at times but I had a very understanding group of students and things gradually got easier.

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Tune in this weekend: “10 Things You Don’t Know About Money” on H2

10-things-you-dont-know-about-807Earlier this year, punk rocker turned History Channel program host Henry Rollins visited the Los Angeles Branch of the San Francisco Fed to film an episode for his 10 Things You Don’t Know About series.

Rollins and the show’s producers wanted to focus on a relatively obscure era in our nation’s currency history – when currency circulating in Hawaii was replaced with specially marked notes in anticipation of a potential invasion by Japan during World War II. Fed Historian Gary Richardson was interviewed about these “Hawaii notes.”

Rollins also interviewed Cash Director Rita Aguilar about the Fed’s cash operations and the use of the shredded currency to generate electricity.

Watch the episode when it airs this Saturday, October 11th, at 10:00pm ET / 11:00pm PT on H2.

The program will also be available on, iTunes, and Amazon.

Also, in case you missed it: Five Things You May Not Know About Money

Andrea Abrams contributed to this post. Photo via.

Personal finance blog resources

Last week, we suggested a few economics blogs as resources.  This week, we’re turning our focus to blogs that address topics related to personal finance and financial literacy.

These blogs were all winners of the Plutus Awards at the 5th Annual FinCon Expo, a peer conference for the financial media community.

Best New Personal Finance Blog: Listen, Money Matters!

2014-10-1-Listen-money-mattersAndrew Fiebert and Matt Giovanisci hail from New England, and they have self-proclaimed themselves a personal finance nerd and a reformed debt addict, respectively. Together, they explore money issues and share their research and learning with the purpose of helping others along the same path towards financial freedom and early retirement. They also maintain a podcast.

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