PROVIDENCE, R.I. - General Treasurer Gina M. Raimondo was recently honored by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) with the Desjardins Financial Literacy Award for her commitment to strengthening financial education opportunities in Rhode Island through her Empower RI initiative.
"CUNA is pleased to recognize Treasurer Raimondo for the outstanding work she has done to support and expand financial literacy efforts in Rhode Island," said Association President Paul Gentile. "We are particularly proud that a Rhode Island official is one of the first policymakers to receive this recognition."
"One of my top priorities is to help Rhode Islanders make more informed choices in an effort to achieve their financial goals," said Raimondo. "The credit unions have been great partners and have played an instrumental role in the success of this program. Together, we are moving Rhode Island forward one person at a time by helping people become confident about their financial future."
Empower RI is a financial education initiative that helps Rhode Islanders understand the importance of personal money management. Community partners include local financial institutions and credit unions such as: Navigant Credit Union, Pawtucket Credit Union,People's Credit Union and Westerly Community Credit Union.
Treasury partners with the community on the following programs:
- EverFi: A web-based financial literacy program for students. Through the support of local credit unions and financial institutions, EverFi is available to Rhode Island high schools.
- Financial Coaching Corps: A unique, community-based partnership with the Capital Good Fund that provides free personalized financial coaching. The program matches volunteers with financial skills, with Rhode Islanders looking to understand their finances.
- Payday Lending Reform: A commitment to advocating for legislation to regulate payday lending and to creating safe alternatives to these predatory products.
- CollegeBoundfund: Rhode Island's 529 college savings plan, designed to help families save for higher education expenses at an accredited college, university, vocational or trade school.
The Desjardins Award, which is determined by the CUNA State Credit Union Subcommittee, recognizes the leadership for financial education at the state level. Previously restricted to legislators, nominations for the award were expanded to state government policymakers. This year, Raimondo and Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman received this honor. Alphonse Desjardins was a credit union pioneer who was instrumental in forming the Canadian and U.S. credit union movements.