Last week, Nusenda announced the 2023 Financial Education Innovation Award winners. These awards demonstrate Nusenda’s ongoing commitment to strengthening communities and investing in innovative solutions that improve education, health, social, and economic outcomes.
“These awards are designed to recognize and support organizations and educators who are teaching financial well-being to New Mexicans in unique ways,” said Joe Christian, Nusenda President and CEO. “We are proud to fund such innovative and impactful teachers and organizations who are working to provide a brighter future for New Mexico.”
This year, the Credit Union awarded a total of $20,000 to one organization, one school program, and two educators.
$15,000 was awarded to NMCAN, a local nonprofit that engages with young people in low-income communities who have been affected by the foster care system, juvenile justice, or homelessness. Their programs connect young people with supportive networks and financial wellness resources so they can gain life skills and positively impact their communities.
$3,000 was awarded to a program offered by Ms. Choneska, Mr. Mannella, Ms. Espina, and
Ms. Scarlott from Cochiti Elementary School. These teachers use a classroom economy to teach students foundational knowledge about personal finance, including how to pay bills, keep personal transaction records, earn money, and use debit cards.
$1,000 was awarded to Terri Bitsie, a teacher at Alamosa Elementary school. Ms. Bitsie provides non-evaluative, extended learning opportunities to students, including a Financial Capability unit for 3rd through 5th grade students in bilingual/dual language classrooms. Her program teaches students about real-world financial topics, including credit cards, debit cards, and cash handling.
$1,000 was awarded to Mike Nair, a teacher at Highland High School. Mr. Nair designed a two-week learning series where students can create their own businesses and compete for limited funds. After students learn about key topics, such as economics, supply and demand, opportunity costs, loans, and interest rates, they apply their knowledge and create a pitch presentation for real-world financial professionals to fund a start-up loan.