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  • Writer's pictureGail Montgomery

"Financial Literacy in Action: A Trailblazing Journey with Amy Sherman of Economic Literacy Colorado"



(You can also view us on Spotify or listen to it on Apple Podcasts. )


In the latest episode of Trailblazing for Success, we had the pleasure of interviewing Amy Sherman, the dynamic President and CEO of Economic Literacy Colorado.


This statewide nonprofit is on a mission to equip students and teachers with the knowledge and tools needed for a strong financial literacy background. Amy shared her journey, insights, and the challenges they face in promoting financial literacy across Colorado's educational landscape.

 

The Change Train:

Embarking on a transformative journey, Amy Sherman, the dynamic President and CEO of Economic Literacy Colorado, shared the compelling story of her transition from a career in the Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development to spearheading a mission close to her heart. Amy's decision to lead Economic Literacy Colorado was fueled by lessons instilled by her banker mom about the importance of savings and financial responsibility. The catalyst for this change? Her children heading to college and her husband pursuing a career shift.

 

Educational Impact:

Economic Literacy Colorado aims to reach all students in the state, regardless of the educational setting. Amy highlighted the challenges of making financial literacy a priority in school districts and the organization's efforts to provide engaging courses for teachers and students. She emphasized the need to adapt to the changing learning styles of today's teenagers, who are more involved in the FinTech industry.

 

Navigating Challenges:

Amy discussed the organization's challenges in making financial literacy a graduation requirement in Colorado. With only a quarter of school districts adopting this, the focus is on creating awareness, making courses appealing, and ensuring students carry these skills into their adult lives.

 

Tech-Savvy Learning:

The conversation shifted to the impact of technology on learning. Economic Literacy Colorado collaborates with companies like New Moolah, offering apps for families to budget together. Amy acknowledged the tech-savvy nature of today's youth and their proficiency in managing finances through apps like Splitwise and Venmo.

 

Engaging Teachers and Students:

Amy explained how teachers and students can engage with Economic Literacy Colorado. Teachers receive program catalogs, attend professional development courses, and gain continuing education credits. Students participate in stock market games and programs like Investing Girls, empowering them to understand finance careers.

 

Leadership and Soft Skills:

As a leader, Amy emphasized the importance of bringing in younger generations and diverse perspectives. She acknowledged the evolving soft skills landscape, with a focus on enhancing phone communication skills among younger staff members. Amy shared advice she received early in her career about the significance of matching 401k contributions and investing in professional development.

 

Navigating Economic Pressures:

Addressing economic pressures, Amy stressed the importance of prioritizing investments in staff and professional development over cutting essential growth areas. She urged organizations to avoid compromising on elements crucial for long-term success.

 

2024 Goals:

Amy concluded the interview by sharing Economic Literacy Colorado's achievements in 2023, including receiving the Denver Business Journal Award for Partner in Philanthropy. Looking ahead to 2024, the organization plans to expand its impact to neighboring states and focus on creating internship programs to diversify the talent pipeline in the financial sector.

 

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Economic Literacy Colorado prepares students with the knowledge to understand our economic system and the crucial skills to manage their personal finances, equips teachers with tools and knowledge to teach these concepts in schools, and offers real-world, hands-on opportunities for students to learn about our economic system and explore careers in the financial industry.

 

Promoting economics and financial literacy should be a top priority because it helps students become:

 

Prepared for their futures: Understanding common economic principles helps individuals navigate fluctuating economic conditions and builds a more robust workforce.

 

Informed decision makers: Real-world financial skills help citizens save, invest, and spend their money in smart ways for long-term success.

 

How They Achieve This:

Economic Literacy Colorado is the only nonprofit in Colorado providing K-12 teachers with professional development and classroom enrichment opportunities to prepare students to achieve personal financial sustainability and self-sufficiency. ELC also offers two student programs with the intent to increase financial literacy and awareness of our economic system and explore career opportunities available in the business sector.

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