PROVIDENCE, R.I. – On Nov. 17, Rhode Island College hosted the fifth annual Financial Capabilities Conference, a free day-long event that attracted more than 130 participants to share ideas and develop partnerships to advance financial literacy in the state and region.
The conference, organized by the RI Jump$tart Coalition and RI Council for Economic Education, offered presentations on financial education concepts and ideas for building financial capability among diverse populations. Participants, including educators, social service providers, veterans and librarians, had the opportunity to visit conference exhibits that displayed the financial literacy efforts of many companies and local organizations. Sixteen student volunteers from four local high schools and four area colleges and universities were on hand to volunteer with event logistics. Some of these students also shared their perspectives during a lunch discussion panel.
Speakers at the conference included R.I. Senator Jack Reed, R.I. Congressman James Langevin, R.I. Treasurer Seth Magaziner, Rhode Island College President Frank D. Sánchez, R.I. Veterans Affairs Director Kasim Yarn, RI JumpStart and RI Council President Margaret Brooks and Eastern Regional Jump$tart Director William Cheeks. Prakash Koirala, director of FINLIT Nepal, also offered a global financial literacy workshop during the conference.
“If you don’t properly protect yourself online, you are putting your personal finances at risk,” said Langevin, co-founder and co-chair of the U.S. Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus. “I commend Rhode Island College, the RI Jumpstart Coalition and the RI Council for Economic Education for doing their part to promote safe online behavior by incorporating cybersecurity into their financial literacy outreach.”
“As we prepare our young people to enter college or the workforce, financial literacy and empowerment is essential,” Magaziner said. “I am grateful for the efforts of the Jump$tart Coalition, as together we work to ensure that everyone in Rhode Island has a fair shot at success.”
“Whatever stage of life a student might be in, financial literacy is a critical skill and an important part of a relevant, well-rounded education,” Sánchez said. “Through collaborations like the Financial Capability Conference, we look to integrate financial capability services into other social services that can help address poverty and build self-sufficiency.”
Brooks expressed her thanks to the sponsors, volunteers, speakers, and board members for their outstanding contributions to the conference.
Fidelity Investments and Pawtucket Credit Union were platinum sponsors for the conference; Rhode Island Student Loan Authority, Next Gen Personal Finance, Rhode Island College and Bridgewater State University were gold sponsors; Council for Economic Education, Finnest and Spread Wings Foundation were silver sponsors; Junior Achievement RI, Money Experience, University of Rhode Island and Plutus Foundation were bronze sponsors.