Invest in What’s Next


There are many possibilities for students’ life after high school and lots of questions to consider along the way.  “What path is right for me?” “What do I stand to gain?” “What are my funding options for school?”

We have been developing Invest in What’s Next (IIWN), an interactive, online mini-course with the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. Through three lessons, students will explore their options, budget for their future, and build a plan that’s right for them.

We are happy to announce that lesson 1 has been launched and is ready for you to assign to your students!  After completing lesson 1, students will be able to:

  • determine what jobs best fit their personal interests and the education required for those jobs
  • estimate what they want their future lifestyle to be and the income they may need to earn to support that lifestyle
  • identify the benefits of education after high school
  • assess the degree levels and school options for education after high school
  • research education options that meet their goals
  • analyze charts and data in a variety of formats

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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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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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Girl Scouts visit Phoenix Processing Center

2014.07.30Phoenix-GirlScouts-tour-launch2Just a quick post today to share a photo of Troop 966 (Peoria, AZ) from the Girl Scouts Arizona Cactus-Pine Council, along with representatives of our Fed outreach team.  These young women visited the SF Fed Phoenix Processing Center over the summer and got hands-on practice with personal finance by calculating income and creating a budget, along with learning how to save towards financial goals.

The Girl Scouts also viewed our cash operations and saw the coin and cash supply for the state of Arizona, while learning about the life cycle of cash in the U.S. A treasure hunt for piggy bank souvenirs completed their visit.

If you know an Arizona Girl Scout troop that would like to participate in our Phoenix office’s Girl Scout VIP Pass program, see the flyer below for more information.

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Teacher Spotlight: Greg Blandino

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

Blandino-GregIn today’s installment, we’re talking with Greg Blandino, who teaches AP economics (micro and macro) and college prep economics at Monte Vista High School in Danville, CA.

Here is what he had to say:

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

I’ve been teaching economics for 27 years.  I love when students connect their day-to-day behavior to economics ideas, theories, and principles discussed in the classroom.

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Spreading our wings beyond the bald eagle: wildlife on United States currency

This post is by guest writer Andrea Abrams, who is a Senior Coordinator with the SF Fed’s Economic Education department.  Andrea leads a team of 38 staff outreach volunteers in our Los Angeles and Phoenix Branches who provide tours and personal finance workshops.  Read her full bio here.

Most students know that the bald eagle features prominently on the United States cash in their wallet. When it comes to frogs, reindeer, and bison, however, students may be in for a surprise.

Wildlife meets economics in our nation’s cash past.

Fighting frogs

Some of the earliest American notes were issued by private banks, and often contained imagery that was meaningful to the local community.  For example, the currency of Windham Bank, which was located in eastern Connecticut, featured a unique symbol that originated in local folklore.

A legend holds that one night in 1754, two local men were terrified by ferocious sounds of battle drawing near. Eager to protect their fellow residents, the two rushed home to gather reinforcements for what was presumed to be an enemy attack in association with the French and Indian War. No attackers were found, but in the morning the area was filled with thousands of bullfrogs who had apparently done battle the night before, possibly over the small amount of water in a nearby pond. This episode was immortalized in poetry and song…and on the local currency when Windham Bank issued a $5 private banknote depicting two frogs in combat.

2014.08.20 Spreading our wings beyond the bald eagle 1

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Back to School with Bite-Sized Economics

With the summer winding down we’ve turned to getting ready for the new school year, and you probably are, too.  To help get the ball rolling with your economics classes, we’ve compiled a short list of “Bite-Sized Economics” activities and discussions that can be easily integrated into the classroom.  They come from our colleagues at the Kansas City Fed (see more of their educational resources here).


Concept to teach:  Entrepreneur
One who takes a risk by producing a product or starting a new business

Bite-sized ideas:

  1. As entrepreneurs invent new products, they often make former products obsolete, or out of date and no longer used. An example of this would be the typewriter, which is now rare because of computer word processing. This concept is called “creative destruction.” Ask students to brainstorm and discuss other examples of creative destruction due to new inventions.
  2. After discussing entrepreneurship, ask students to interview an entrepreneur in their community. Interview questions could include: describing their business; explaining how they financed their venture; discussing any challenges in their business; and describing a typical work day. Share completed interviews with the class. (via)

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Teacher Spotlight: Cheryl Shea

We are excited to launch the first post of our Spotlight series, where we’ll talk with teachers who are making a difference in the field of economic education.

Our first feature is on Cheryl Shea, who teaches high school business, marketing, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy at Pinnacle High School in Phoenix, Arizona.  She is affiliated with their local community college district, so her students are able to obtain Dual Enrollment college credit.  Cheryl has also been a DECA advisor for seven years.

2014.07.09 Teacher spotlight - Cheryl Shea DECA adv of yr

Here is what she said.

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Special upcoming event! Meet the Experts, August 15

Join us in San Francisco on August 15 for an exciting and unique opportunity! 

Meet the Experts is a speaker series designed to provide secondary and post-secondary educators with an opportunity to interact with leaders from throughout the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Our objective is to foster greater understanding about the roles and responsibilities of the Fed and to highlight emerging issues in the economy.

The event is a professional development opportunity that will bolster your knowledge about economics, and you will return to your students with fresh content and new teaching ideas.  Set yourself up for success in the upcoming school year and register today.

Confirmed speakers include:

2014-05-28 MTE-lineupJohn C. Williams, President and CEO of the SF Fed.  John is an expert on monetary policy and business cycles, and is a strong advocate for economic education.

Mark A. Gould, First VP and COO at the SF Fed.  Mark is responsible for all administration, operating, and financial services activities.  He is also product director of the Federal Reserve System’s Cash Product Office.

Mary C. Daly, Senior Vice President and Associate Director of Research at the SF Fed.  Mary specializes in labor markets, public economics, and social welfare.

Kevin Lansing,  Research Advisor, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.  Kevin specializes in macroeconomics, monetary economics, and asset pricing.

This event is open to high school, community college, and university educators. Students in teacher education programs are also welcome to attend. There is no fee for this event.

We are still in the planning stages of this event, and details are subject to change.  Please check back for updates.  Last year’s agenda will give you an idea of the exciting and informative content that will be included in the day.

Register now! We look forward to having you join us.