In a Huffington Post editorial, Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and White House Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett singled out Apple Federal Credit Union liaison Terri Carson as one of financial education's "important models to follow" during the National Financial Capability Challenge.
The three members of President Obama's administration detailed both her management of Apple's student-run credit union branch at Stonewall Jackson High School and her classroom efforts, such as a financial literacy boot camp, as elements that likely contributed to her students' stellar results. More than half of Carson's 100 students who took the National Financial Capability Challenge scored within the top 20% nationally and 17 earned perfect scores.
A joint effort by the departments of the Treasury and Education, the National Financial Capability Challenge was designed to help promote financial education among the nation's high school students.
"Anytime our school or district comes out on top, I am thrilled," said Carson. "But, it is really the students that should be singled out. They are the ones who out-performed everyone else. I just gave them the tools and some motivation."
To prepare for the challenge, Carson put her students through approximately three weeks of intensive financial literacy training. None of the material was foreign to them, however. Any student taking the business educator's regular classes is put through financial fitness boot camp to ensure that students learn the basics of managing personal finances. She has even used her own paycheck during certain exercises to illustrate how much money is parceled out for taxes, benefits and more. Carson also made sure all her students knew about the $1,000 scholarships available for those who received a perfect exam score.