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Financial Literacy for Everyone

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New Yorker Recognized as a National 'Innovative Educator' by Visa Inc. for Commitment to Personal Finance Education

Hope Leadership Academy's Michael Roberts Selected for Bringing Financial Education to Students who are Homeless or are in Foster Care

February 9, 2010

San Francisco, CA - February 9, 2010 - For going above and beyond in the pursuit of financial literacy, Harlem's Hope Leadership Academy's Michael Roberts was recognized today by Visa Inc. as a national "Innovative Educator."

Michael Roberts oversees the Hope Leadership Academy as the Assistant Division Director, City and Country Branches of the Children's Aid Society in New York. The teen center in Harlem was created in the aftermath of September 11th to help New York City youth address the violence, victimization and hopelessness affecting their everyday lives. The educators at the center interact with 350 teens each year and offer programs to adolescents including academics, arts, college preparation, employment, technology and the most recent addition, financial literacy education. A select group of over 40 teenagers aged 14-18 follow the intensive curriculum that ends with them learning the skills to become peer trainers.

To learn more about how Mr. Roberts is helping New York teens take control of their financial futures, please visit, the website for Visa's award-winning financial education program, Practical Money Skills for Life.

"Congratulations to Mr. Roberts who symbolizes Visa's longstanding commitment to ensuring that everyone understands the importance of responsible money management," said Jason Alderman, Visa's Director of Financial Education.

"Financial literacy means different things for different people depending on where you fall within the economic population," said Roberts. "But ultimately, financial literacy is the understanding of the financial world you have to operate in."

The "Innovative Educator" award is given to educators nationwide who demonstrate a commitment to bringing personal finance education into their classroom. The award is part of Visa's Practical Money Skills for Life Program.

Practical Money Skills for Life is an educator-developed and educator-approved program that helps students – from preschoolers and elementary school students, to teens and college students – learn the essentials of personal finance. Available in both English and Spanish at, educators, parents and students can access free educational resources. Visa also runs What's My Score (, a leading higher education financial literacy program that guides college students through the ABC's of credit scores.

About Visa Inc.
Visa is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable digital currency. Underpinning digital currency is one of the world's most advanced processing networks—VisaNet—that is capable of handling more than 10,000 transactions a second, with fraud protection for consumers and guaranteed payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank, and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa's innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: Pay now with debit, ahead of time with prepaid or later with credit products. For more information, visit

Contact: Angela Waugaman, CRC Public Relations, Tel: +1 703-683-5004, ext. 133

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Contact: Will Gale for Visa Inc., (336) 681-1274