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For the Media

Underprivileged High School Students Learn Ropes of Personal Finance

WHO:   Hoop Dreams Scholarship Fund Recipients (nine high school seniors from Washington, D.C., public schools)

WHAT:  Underprivileged students learn the ropes of personal finance in a one-on-one, interactive high-tech environment before they head off to college

WHERE:  Financial Services and Information Technology Lab, American University’s Kogod School of Business

WHEN:  12:30 to 2 p.m. Wednesday, May 27

MEDIA:  Members of the media wishing to attend and talk to participants, please contact Maggie Barrett, AU Media Relations, 202-885-5951 or

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 26, 2009)—As evidenced by the recession, understanding the basics of personal finance is critical for everyone.  From student loans to mounting credit card debt, it is clear that young adults—especially those with economically disadvantaged backgrounds—often lack the knowledge to make decisions that will positively shape their financial futures.

American University’s Kogod School of Business, with the Hoop Dreams Scholarship Fund and the EverFi Financial Literacy Platform, will host nine high school students from Washington, D.C., public schools who will participate in a financial literacy education initiative from 12:30 to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, May 27, in Kogod’s Financial Services and Information Technology Lab.  

The students are recipients of Hoop Dreams Scholarships and will be going to college in fall 2009.  Most of them will be the first in their families to attend college.

“Each of the nine students has personally benefited from the financial course,” said Lester Davis, director of communication at the Hoop Dreams Scholarship Fund. “We had some students who were fearful of putting their money in banks because of the misinformation they were hearing surrounding the global financial meltdown, but this course changed their perspectives.”

This marks the third and final installment of the initiative. Two installments with the same cohort of students were held earlier this year.

The instruction uses EverFi software, designed to teach young people financial literacy through video games and other interactive computer applications. The program encompasses everything from Web-based tours of the New York Stock Exchange and explanations of compounding interest and savings to the pitfalls of bad credit and consumer fraud.

The Hoop Dreams Scholarship Fund is a not-for-profit organization committed to expanding the academic and career horizons of Washington, D.C., public school students. Since its inception in 1996, the Hoop Dreams Scholarship Fund has helped send more than 920 Washington, D.C., public high school students to college and move toward a more positive and enriched future.

American University is a leader in global education, enrolling a diverse student body from throughout the United States and nearly 140 countries. Located in Washington, D.C., the university provides opportunities for academic excellence, public service, and internships in the nation’s capital and around the world.