In December 2013, First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) finished another round of its popular InvestNative Online Financial Education Challenge. The online financial education curriculum, funded by the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, provides concise, interactive and youth-focus financial literacy lessons. The curriculum is aligned with the Jump$tart National Standards in K-12 Personal Finance Education and has been further adapted to meet the specific needs of Native youth in their communities.
Working in partnership with several high schools across the nation, First Nations recruited more than 70 students to participate in the online challenge in December. This is the fourth time the online challenge has been offered, and to date over 418 students have participated and about half (204 students or 49%) have successfully completed all modules.
Guided by the principles of behavioral economics, First Nations provided an incentive for students participating in the challenge, and students who completed all eight lessons and passed a series of assessments (one for each module) with an average score of 80% or more were entered into a lottery to win a pair of the popular Beats brand headphones. High schools that participated last year included Gallup Central High School and Thoreau High School in New Mexico, and Meskwaki High School in Iowa. Beats headphones winners from Gallup Central High School (above) and Thoreau High School (below) are pictured here.
An evaluation of the curriculum in 2013 revealed that 91% of all students who completed an evaluation agreed that the curriculum was relevant to their lives and 95% agreed that the information presented would assist them with their financial needs. First Nations will continue to work with community partners in 2014 to make this curriculum available for high school students and youth groups.
To learn more about the curriculum, visit www.investnativeonline.org.
By Sarah Dewees, First Nations Senior Director of Research, Policy & Asset-Building Programs