GeoCache for College Cash Winner

Caleb_MoneySmartGeoCacheWinner2016Caleb Anderson from Luther College was the winner of a $1000 prize to go directly toward tuition (sponsored by Iowa Jump$tart Coalition)!  Congratulations!

“GeoCache for College Cash” is a Money Smart Week Iowa program that takes place at several college campuses across the state of Iowa in April.  About 1,000 students played on Iowa college campuses during the 2016 Money Smart Week.  The contest consists of seven posters, each focused on one personal finance topic and each displaying a unique QR code. Students read the posters, use a smart phone/tablet to scan the QR codes, and access quiz questions (multiple-choice). Answers are recorded for each player, logged via a player provided email.

May 13, 2016 at 3:34 pm

Member Spotlight: Iowa Student Loan

IowaStudentLoanWe would like to recognize the Iowa Student Loan as our current Member Spotlight.  Iowa Student Loan was established in 1979 as a private, nonprofit corporation, to help Iowa students and families obtain the resources necessary to succeed in post-secondary education. To date, Iowa Student Loan has helped nearly 400,000 students pay for college.

Iowa Student Loan’s nonprofit community reinvestment efforts provide more than $100,000 in scholarships and 529 savings plan deposits annually.  Iowa Student Loan also offers private student loans for students who have exhausted other sources of aid, and reinvests funds in programs to benefit students and borrowers.

Based in West Des Moines, Iowa Student Loan and its subsidiary employ more than 200 people and manages $2.6 billion in student loans. The organization is self-funded and self-capitalized. It is governed by a board of directors, appointed by the governor of Iowa.

This member of the Iowa Jump$tart coalition is represented by Megan Garrett.  Megan has been with Iowa Student Loan as a Corporate Communications and Media Relations Administrator for almost two years.  Part of her efforts have resulted in a much greater social media presence for Iowa Student Loan including launching their first blog that now includes submissions from other Iowa nonprofits, some of which are fellow Jump$tart members.  Iowa Student Loan also now utilizes video and recently finished production of a second set of Student Loan Pro Tip videos promoting responsible student borrowing and financial literacy.  Previously, Megan was a PR Specialist for Lake Regional Health System at the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri.  In addition to Jump$tart, Megan helps represent Iowa Student Loan through its partnership with the I Have a Dream Foundation

Megan, who is a native Iowan, from Stuart, found happiness, a degree, and a husband at Northwest Missouri State University.  Her husband Derek played on the Bearcat football team that started the incredible run of championship appearances NWMSU has enjoyed.   They have a very cute darling 8 month old daughter named Emmie.

In her (seriously?!?) spare time, she teaches preschool- 2nd grade dance classes, works on restoring their 1890 home in Adel, and attends Bearcat and Chiefs football;  and Royals baseball games.  She’s big fan of music and attending concerts like Garth Brooks and Dave Matthews and you can follow her on Pinterest!

You may find more about this member at:

May 12, 2016 at 5:00 pm

Learn More About the 2016 National Educator Conference

NEC-Facebook-2The Jump$tart Coalition National Educator Conference is the only national conference for classroom teachers dedicated to personal finance education in the classroom. Each year, the conference provides PreK-12 educators with financial education resources, personal and professional development, access to a nation-wide network of colleagues, and general support for financial education.

This Year’s Conference Highlights:

  • Tools, resources, information and support for teaching personal finance in the classroom.
  • A variety of workshops under three strands: Curricula/Content, Personal Development “101” and Personal Development “AP.”
  • Networking with your peers from across the country!
  • Exhibit Hall devoted to Financial Education Resources
  • Welcome to Dallas Gala
  • 15 Professional Development Hours for Teachers
  • Optional Activities include: free financial planning clinics, two financial educator certification programs, and various teacher networking opportunities.

Click here to learn more.


May 6, 2016 at 6:02 pm

Morgan Fannon named Iowa’s 2016 Money Smart Kid

Money Smart Week Essay Contest Chair Matt Brown, 2016 Money Smart Essay Contest Winner Morgan Fannon, and Iowa Bankers Association Vice President of Marketing and Communications Lori Ristau

Money Smart Week Essay Contest Chair Matt Brown, 2016 Money Smart Essay Contest Winner Morgan Fannon, and Iowa Bankers Association Vice President of Marketing and Communications Lori Ristau

Morgan Fannon, an eleventh-grader at Edgewood-Colesburg Senior High School, has won the statewide financial literacy essay contest for Money Smart Week Iowa and has been named Iowa’s 2016 Money Smart Kid. Fannon was recognized April 25 at Edgewood-Colesburg Junior/Senior High School. Fannon will also receive a $1,000 Certificate of Deposit sponsored by the Iowa Bankers Association.

“How to plan for emergencies is an important aspect of financial education, and it is exciting to see these students applying what they learn to a realistic situation,” said Lori Ristau, vice president of marketing and communications at the Iowa Bankers Association. “Iowa banks are committed to helping Iowans reach their financial goals, and providing access to financial education resources through programs like Money Smart Week is just one of the many ways banks can help. We are pleased to sponsor this fun and educational opportunity for Iowa students on behalf of our member banks.”

Approximately 253 students from across the state participated in the essay contest. To be eligible, students had to be in grades seventh through eleventh and submit a 400-word essay. The essay asked students to consider ways their family could adjust spending if a medical emergency occurred and a parent/guardian could not work temporarily. Students were also asked to think of actions they could take to assist their family. Finally, students were asked to write about ways their family could better prepare for unexpected emergencies that can have a major financial impact. The top six essay finalists also participated in an interview with contest judges. From those finalists, Morgan Fannon was selected to be the 2016 Money Smart Kid.

“Another record number of essays were submitted from clever, selfless and forward-thinking students across Iowa,” said Matt Brown, chair for the Money Smart Kid Essay contest. “The question this year asked students to not only think about the financial impact of emergencies that limit household income, but step forward with bold ideas of how they could assist their families in such a difficult but not altogether uncommon event. The challenge was accepted by students in ways that exceeded my high expectations for this annual contest.”

About 240 students, more than 15 local bankers, Dr. Liang Wee, president of Northeast Iowa Community College and many others were on hand to hear Fannon read her essay as she was presented as the 2016 Money Smart Kid.

“If my family were to go through a financial crisis, like a medical emergency, these are the steps I would take to ensure financial peace,” Fannon began her award-winning essay. “I would first create a budget, begin working a part-time job (or additional job) and establish an emergency fund for the future.”

Click here to read Fannon’s full essay.

April 27, 2016 at 1:02 pm

FDIC offers free financial education tools for National Financial Capability Month

FDIC-Color-LogoThe Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) marked National Financial Capability Month this April by highlighting educational opportunities for both adults and young people to build their financial knowledge and skills to achieve brighter financial futures.

The FDIC’s Money Smart program includes a comprehensive financial education curriculum designed to help low- and moderate-income individuals outside the financial mainstream enhance their financial skills. The curriculum is free, available online, and includes a variety of targeted materials for children, adults, older adults, and small business owners.

The Money Smart program has reached more than 3 million consumers since 2001. Research shows that the curriculum can positively influence how consumers manage their finances, and these changes are sustainable in the months after the training.

“The Money Smart program was launched 15 years ago to help people gain a better understanding of day-to-day expenses, save for important goals, and manage their credit,” FDIC Chairman Martin J. Gruenberg said. “Money Smart offers a wide variety of valuable tools to help consumers enhance their understanding of how to better manage their money and build for the future.”

This month, two webinars will overview FDIC educational resources:

  • FDIC Resources Available in Spanish (conducted in Spanish), Tuesday, April 12, 2016 from 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm. To register, visit Money Smart (Spanish) or Conferences & Events (English)
  • Money Smart Product Family and Implementation Examples (conducted in English), Wednesday, April 20, 2016 from 1:00 pm – 3:30 pm. To register, visit Money Smart (English)

To learn more about FDIC’s free financial education resources, start at

April 13, 2016 at 11:32 am

Governor signs proclamations for financial literacy

MSWProclamationSigningSMOn March 24 Governor Terry Branstad signed two proclamations promoting financial literacy awareness in Iowa, and members of the Iowa Jump$tart Coalition attended the signing ceremony. One proclamation declared April 23-30 Money Smart Week in Iowa. Another proclamation declared the month of April as Financial Literacy Awareness Month in Iowa. Click here to view the Financial Literacy Awareness Month proclamation.

Looking for ways to get involved in financial literacy during Financial Literacy Month or during Money Smart Week? Be sure to review the Iowa Jump$tart website for the latest updates on financial literacy activities. Also visit the Money Smart Week website for more information about Money Smart Week.

March 24, 2016 at 4:40 pm

Member Spotlight: EverFi

EverFi LogoWe would like to recognize EverFi in our current Member Spotlight. EverFi provides educators with engaging, online learning resources in topics such as financial education, digital literacy, STEM readiness, coding and entrepreneurship. EverFi partners with government entities, professional sports leagues, financial institutions and forward-thinking foundations to help bring the courses to schools at no cost. Over 400 schools and 20,000 students have participated in an EverFi course this year mostly through the Iowa Financial Literacy Program.

This member of the Iowa Jump$tart coalition is represented by Lincoln Hughes. Lincoln is Everfi’s Senior School Manager with his office here in Des Moines. Lincoln earned his Master of Education from the University of Missouri-St. Louis in 2012 graduating Magna Cum Laude. His BA is in economics and political science from Hamline University in St. Paul. In addition to graduating with honors, Lincoln was a standout on the Piper baseball team and took part in campus government.

Lincoln recently married Kayla. They are active members of the Plymouth Church in Des Moines. He is an avid cross-fit athlete and enjoys Yoga. Lincoln and Kayla are heading off on a vacation next week to meander through the Southern United States.

March 17, 2016 at 2:51 pm

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