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EverFi

12/17/14

Southwest Virginia Students Outscore Their Peers Across the Nation
in Financial Literacy Certification

Holston High School teacher Joy Munsey instructs her Fall 2014 5th-period personal finance and economics class on HUB-sponsored financial literacy curriculum.

ABINGDON, Va. – Five Southwest Virginia high schools have received national recognition for outperforming schools across the country on standardized testing for financial literacy certification.

Students at each school were tested during the 2013-2014 school year after completing My Money, My Future personal finance coursework sponsored by Highlands Union Bank (HUB). All five schools placed in the Top 100 Best Working in Support of Education (w!se) High Schools Teaching Personal Finance rankings for 2014. Four of the schools placed in the top 30.

Holston High School in Damascus placed seventh in the nation — the highest ranking in the state of Virginia — and was named a w!se Blue Star School for 2014. To earn Blue Star recognition, a school must achieve a 75-percent pass rate on the w!se Financial Literacy Certification test. Virginia’s 148 Blue Star schools made up more than 50 percent of the 284 schools recognized nationwide.

Other Blue Star Schools from Southwest Virginia placing in the top 30 were Virginia High School in Bristol (15th), Patrick Henry High School in Glade Spring (17th) and Abingdon High School (27th). John S. Battle High School in Bristol was ranked in the top 100.

A number of states, including Virginia, require students to pass personal finance coursework in order to graduate. Students who pass the standardized w!se Financial Literacy Certification test demonstrate that they are financially capable.

In the fall of 2014, Highlands Union Bank officials visited Holston High School’s 5th-period personal finance and economics class to recognize students’ ranking as seventh in the nation in standardized testing for personal finance certification. Pictured from left: Dr. Brian C. Ratliff, superintendent, Washington County Schools; Mark Farris, HUB’s vice president of marketing and electronic banking; Joy Munsey, Holston High School personal finance and economics teacher; and Sally Stringer-Scott, HUB’s vice president of marketing and electronic banking.

“Our high schools, students and educators deserve significant recognition and commendation for their performance on the w!se Financial Literacy Certification test,” says Dr. Brian C. Ratliff, division superintendent, Washington County Public Schools. “The students have risen to the challenge of creating a path toward financial literacy and wellbeing. I am also proud of our incredible, award-winning teachers for providing the essential knowledge and skills to help our students prepare for their futures as financially competent adults.”

The My Money, My Future personal finance course taught at nine Southwest Virginia schools is offered through a partnership between Highlands Union Bank and EverFi, a national web-based financial literacy platform, along with the Genworth Foundation, which is the statewide sponsor of the program, and the Virginia Bankers Association. Currently in its fourth year, the program is offered at no cost to schools or students and helps provide high school students the skills they need to become financially responsible.

“We consider it a great privilege to partner with these schools to help equip students to become informed, financially responsible citizens,” says Highlands Union Bank President and CEO Sam Neese. “We are delighted to congratulate the students and teachers in our region for achieving such high recognition.”

The My Money, My Future program has had a significant and measurable educational impact on student knowledge gain. Students throughout Southwest Virginia who participated in this HUB-sponsored program in 2013-2014 increased their financial literacy skills by 24 percent. In addition to the five Southwest Virginia schools that achieved top financial literacy certification scores in 2014, four other regional schools have implemented the program, including Chilhowie High School, Marion Senior High School, Northwood High School in Saltville, and the Washington County Career and Technical Center in Abingdon. A total of 838 students at these nine schools earned certification in the program in the 2013-2014 school year.

More About HUB

Highlands Union Bank has assets in excess of $635 million. The bank serves the region through its main office in Abingdon, Va., and 13 other locations in Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee. These include two branches each in Abingdon and Bristol, Va.; offices in Glade Spring and Marion, Va.; full-service locations in Boone and Banner Elk, N.C.; two branches in Sevierville, Tenn.; and offices in Rogersville, Blountville and Knoxville, Tenn.

More About EverFi

EverFi is the leading education technology platform company to teach, assess and certify students in critical skills including financial literacy, student loan management, digital literacy, and health and wellness. The company is already powering a national movement in 50 states that enables students to learn using the latest technology, including rich media, gaming and simulation. For more information about EverFi's programs, please contact Ryan Swift at 202-251-2400 or ryan@everfi.com.



11/29/11
Highlands Union Bank, Educators Introduce Financial Learning Initiative for Southwest Virginia Students

(L to R): Sam Neese, Highlands Union Bank CEO; Joseph P. Johnson, Jr., Virginia House of Delegates; Ryan Swift, vice president of business development, EverFi; and Chandler Dewey, manager, communications/marketing and financial literacy, Virginia Bankers Association, spoke at a recent news conference announcing HUB's sponsorship of EverFi financial literacy classes in eight Southwest Virginia high schools.

ABINGDON, Va. – A unique business-education partnership providing financial literacy training to hundreds of students in eight Southwest Virginia schools was announced on Nov. 29 by primary sponsor Highlands Union Bank.

Highlands Union has joined EverFi, a leading national web-based financial literacy platform, along with the Genworth Foundation, a statewide community supporter, and the Virginia Bankers Association in sponsoring the program called My Money, My Future. Students in Washington County's four high schools, Smyth County's three high schools and Virginia High School in Bristol, Va., are recipients of the EverFi classes – the first being offered in Southwest Virginia schools.

"We are pleased to be a partner in offering this training at no cost to the schools," said Highlands Union Bank CEO Sam Neese at a news conference held in the library of Abingdon High School. "This is an investment in the future because we know that this type of knowledge equips our young people to become financially responsible citizens of tomorrow – which strengthens all our communities."

Delegate Joe Johnson was a featured speaker at the event, which also included a demonstration of the program by EverFi students.

"It is no secret that these are difficult economic times for our nation, and I realize that it is becoming increasingly challenging for school systems to do more with less money," Johnson said. "With Highlands Union Bank's support, additional educational resources are being pumped into the classroom – at no cost to the taxpayers."

Students in Southwest Virginia attended the November news conference announcing HUB's sponsorship of financial literacy classes in local high schools. Several students were on hand for computer demonstrations of the EverFi program.

The four Washington County high schools include Abingdon, Holston in Damascus, Patrick Henry in Glade Spring, and John S. Battle. The three Smyth County high schools include Chilhowie, Marion and Northwood in Saltville. Virginia High School is the eighth school involved in the My Money, My Future program.

The six-hour, 10-unit program uses the latest in media technologies – video, animations, 3-D gaming, avatars and social networking – to bring complex financial concepts to life for today's digital generation. The My Money, My Future platform provides certification in more than 600 topics in financial education, including credit scores, insurance, credit cards, student loans, mortgages, taxes, stocks, savings, 401k's and other critical concepts that help prepare students to compete in a global environment.

"The EverFi program captures the interest of today's students, and after completing the courses, teenagers are more likely to discuss financial topics with their parents," says Jim Sullivan, superintendent of Washington County schools. "We are also pleased that teachers are finding that the information enhances their instructional materials, so this has been a great addition to our curriculum."

More About HUB

Highlands Union Bank has assets in excess of $635 million. The bank serves the region through its main office in Abingdon, Va., and 13 other locations in Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee. These include two branches each in Abingdon and Bristol, Va.; offices in Glade Spring and Marion, Va.; full-service locations in Boone and Banner Elk, N.C.; two branches in Sevierville, Tenn.; and offices in Rogersville, Blountville and Knoxville, Tenn.

More About EverFi

EverFi is the leading education technology platform company to teach, assess and certify students in critical skills including financial literacy, student loan management, digital literacy, and health and wellness. The company is already powering a national movement in 50 states that enables students to learn using the latest technology, including rich media, gaming and simulation. For more information about EverFi's programs, please contact Ryan Swift at 202-251-2400 or ryan@everfi.com.