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TIAA-CREF announces winners of the "Financially Empowering Gen Y" project partnership

06/14/2012 | 04:18pm US/Eastern

TIAA-CREF has announced the winners of the firm's Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) "Financially Empowering Gen Y" project partnership. Through this program, 25 colleges and universities from across the U.S. competed to design and deliver financial literacy programs in their local communities, targeted at Gen Y. A number of innovative and impactful ideas - ranging from financial education mobile apps and web-based video series, to peer-to-peer workshops and college seminars - were submitted.

The University of Charleston SIFE team was awarded first place for their work in developing and teaching a financial literacy course to UC students and the community. The award includes a $5,000 grant which will help ensure the course is funded for another year.

Second place, along with a $4,000 grant, went to Oregon State University's SIFE team who developed a series of financial education events in partnership with the Columbia County Women's Resource Center. The University of Arizona claimed third place and a $3,000 grant, for their work in designing a series of small workshops to address misconceptions and negative attitudes toward credit in an open, conversational format.

Betsy Palmer, senior vice president, TIAA-CREF Enterprise Communications, attended the SIFE National Exposition in Kansas City, Mo., to recognize the top teams.

"As a financial services organization with deep roots in education, we are committed to helping individuals gain a better understanding of their finances at every life stage," said Palmer. "Our goal in partnering with SIFE over this past year was to address a critical education gap facing Gen Y and to arm them with tools and education they need to help put them on a path toward financial well-being."

Six finalists were also awarded $1,000. These teams include: Briar Cliff University, Gainesville State College, Hillsborough Community College, Lorain County Community College, San Diego City College and Morehead State University.

Since 1975, SIFE has hosted a series of competitions among colleges and universities focused on promoting specific social causes. These initiatives touch industries including market economics, entrepreneurship, financial literacy, personal success skills, environmental sustainability, and business ethics.

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