EverFi and BB&T Congratulate Winners of the 2016-2017 BB&T Student Blog Contest

screen-shot-2017-01-05-at-2-24-20-pmThis past winter break, BB&T and EverFi selected and recognized four winners of the 2016-17 BB&T LEGACY: A Leadership Challenge blog contest. Students from over 800 high schools that participated in BB&T Financial Foundations program in Fall 2016 were eligible to enter. After completing the BB&T Financial Foundations program, students had the opportunity to download and play LEGACY: A BB&T Leadership Challenge, BB&T’s digital leadership app. Students were then invited to answer one of three questions that asked them to reflect, analyze and share their thoughts and opinions on leadership. Winners were selected based on their ability to effectively convey their thoughts, quality of their writing and their originality. All four winners demonstrated impressive understanding of what it means to be a leader.

Raven, a student at Wakefield High School in North Carolina wrote about the relationship between a leader and his or her community:

“I learned new tactics to be an effective leader in the community such as exercising patience, asking questions to understand the needs of the people, and allowing individuals to make their own decisions with the information provided. An individual’s approach to these methods could add or subtract from their legacy. An effective leader is not merely knowledgeable, but open to receiving help from others in the community. Legacy highlights the power of combining ideas to create a better society. In the interactive game, a single individual’s passion for construction allows for the dreams of his neighbors to come to fruition. Everyone’s unique talents can be utilized for the benefit of the community while providing them with a rewarding livelihood.”

Lyric, a student at North Springs High School in Georgia shared how LEGACY allowed her to recognize a leader in her life:

Teacher Ms. Daniel presents winning student Lyric with her award.

“After completing the leadership challenge, I realized I have a lot of inspirational leaders in my life. The one I will describe is my teacher, Ms. Kimberly Daniel. The app showed me that leaders have a lot of quality characteristics, but I believe the most important three are patience, decisiveness, and persistence….After seeing her coach my team and all of our different personalities, I saw all the patience she had. In basketball you have to choose your team with confidence and know which players work well with one another. Coach always knew who to put in and when in order for our team to be successful. Lastly, I can honestly say she has mastered the consistent component of her leadership qualities. Even though she doesn’t coach anymore, she still faithfully comes to my games and tells me constantly what I can do to be better and play at the next level.”

 

 

Celia, a student at Echols County High School in Georgia talked about an inspiring leader in her life:

“Coach Ade looks like a human hulk. He was intimidating to say the least. He is the leader that everyone wants to know. He doesn’t dictate your every move. He is patient and ready to lend a hand. However, those traits are not what makes Coach Ade the leader Legacy taught me about. Coach Ade is special because he knows my boundaries better than I do. He makes sure I understand that being able to come back tomorrow, painless and without a cane is the goal. However, we still celebrate tiny gains. I don’t complain when I feel pain, but Coach Ade still knows when I’m hurting. He will always respond with a question, which makes me really consider what I am doing. Coach Ade is positive and never gives in to me wanting to push past my abilities. Upon completing Legacy, I realized how much Coach Ade resembled the character I played. He is an uplifting soul, who puts his athletes before his self. He has shown me that I can be capable and still keep within my boundaries. Throughout Legacy, many characters were crowned Victorious People. Legacy needs another Victorious person. His name is Coach Ade and he is my leader.”

Peter Okolocha,  a student from Meadowcreek High School in Georgia described what he believes makes and defines a leader:

Winning student Peter with his teacher and family.

Winning student Peter with his teacher and family.

“Leaders are not born but are made by their experiences, successes and failures. Ideally, a leader is an individual that has built up their credibility, empathy, and excellent communication and decision-making skills. Credibility is one of the major foundations of being a leader. Credible leaders are often consistent and reliable in their thoughts, beliefs, and behavior. They are steadfast in their choices and refuse to reversing decisions…Leaders are often perceived as assuring, confident, and motivational individuals that contribute a lot to their environment and workplace. They elicit the best in people around them. They learn from their mistakes and failures in order to strive for something better. Legacy: A BB&T leadership app has been and still is a valuable asset in analyzing attributes and skills tied to being a leader and how to become one of the best.”

Congratulations our four winners, who each received a $500 gift card, their teachers who received a $250 gift card and to their schools.  

 

Tom Davidson

Why an Entrepreneurial Mindset Matters: The Power of Teaching Innovation and Entrepreneurial Thinking

In 2012, President Obama declared that November is National Entrepreneurship Month, “a time when we celebrate the remarkable and everyday success of our entrepreneurs and innovators, and we reaffirm our commitment to ensuring our economy remains the engine and the envy of the world.”

This month’s celebration goes beyond those individuals who have started successful companies. It extends to those who embrace the entrepreneurial mindset that helps even the most established companies grow and thrive. A recent Accenture study revealed that more than 90% of executives believe long-term success of their organization’s strategy depends on their ability to develop new ideas. Simultaneously, one in three employers say they are looking for entrepreneurial experience, underscoring the need for youth who are equipped to recognize opportunity, take initiative, and innovate in the face of challenges. However, a survey conducted by EverFi found that fewer than half of students feel prepared to identify a business opportunity or recognize the characteristics that make an entrepreneur.

Historically, entrepreneurship has been thought of as a cut-and-dried skill that a person has or doesn’t have. But EverFi and the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) believe that teaching an entrepreneurial mindset is possible.

Power of Teaching Innovation in Schools

In 2014, EverFi partnered with NFTE to create Venture, a 3-4 hour web-based course that equips students with basic business and entrepreneurial skills. Students build their own simulated food truck business and learn how to assess risk, see opportunities, and develop a business idea. Along the way, they’ll be introduced to entrepreneurs to get real-life perspective. The course is implemented on a co-curricular basis in classrooms across the country, empowering them to find their inner entrepreneur as part of the school day. Data collected from students who completed the Venture program revealed a 40% increase in students feeling prepared with the skills to think and act like an entrepreneur after participating in the program.

“In today’s innovation economy, the entrepreneurial mindset is more important than ever no matter the path a student chooses in life,” noted Dan Delany, NFTE’s Chief Strategy Officer. “NFTE Venture is a great program that helps thousands of students to start their entrepreneurial journey.”

Founded in 1987, NFTE’s mission is to inspire young people from low-income areas to stay in school, to recognize business opportunities, and to plan for successful futures. NFTE has worked with more than 700,000 students in programs across the U.S. and around the world. Evaluation of NFTE’s intensive classroom programs finds meaningful growth in students on opportunity recognition, critical thinking, problem solving and future orientation. Over 90% of students in NFTE programs feel that the program gives them skills that will help them succeed in school and life.

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Throughout National Entrepreneurship Month, EverFi will be posting stories like these about the impact of entrepreneurship education under the hashtag #NEM2016.

If you’re interested in learning more about NFTE Venture, contact Jim@everfi.com

TEACHER SPOTLIGHT: Sean Bradley

We recently sat down with Sean Bradley, a teacher at W. Erskine Johnston P.S. in Kanata, Ontario, to hear more about how he uses Hockey Scholar with students. This is part of our Teacher Spotlight series.
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Sean Bradley

How do you use EverFi’s courses in your classroom?

I have my students work at their own pace to complete the modules. Due to the high level of student engagement, and with all of the earphones being used, you can hear a pin drop at any given moment. We use the topics covered in the lessons to springboard into other discussions of how Mathematics and Science are related to the NHL and the real world. This has provided material for rich and relevant teachable moments and for the class to draw connections across the curriculum.

We recently watched the streaming of the Future Goals Showcase, EverFi’s virtual educational field that kicked off the World Cup of Hockey on September 14, 2016 (video here). Everyone became very excited and watched many of the games, especially the final game when Canada won the cup! This opportunity was a wonderful way to establish a community of learners and to positively start a brand new year.

What do you like best about the program?

The videos in Hockey Scholar are fantastic. In addition, the interactive game that follows allows the students to practice what they have learned in fun and authentic ways. Lastly, the multiple choice quiz checks to see if they have mastered the skill or not. I especially like the fact that they can go back and redo the module to improve their score and get a minimum of 70%, which is needed in order to ‘win’ the Stanley Cup! This offers the student an opportunity to learn from his or her mistakes and demonstrate persistence, and to take responsibility for his or her own learning. The students who completed the whole program were very excited when they received a certificate in the end, which provided them with the satisfaction of accomplishment.

I am always trying to tie in “real world” applications into my Math and Science classes. There is no better way to do it than with my favourite sport – hockey!

What impact has this course had on your students?

I think that the courses impacted my students in different ways. Many of the students were already familiar with the sport of hockey, whether they played on a team or watched the sport on TV, but I don’t think they had ever given any thought to the extent that Science and Math are used in the NHL. I don’t think that they will ever look at the game in the same way again!

For the students who were not as familiar with hockey, this provided an opportunity to learn about the sport while engaging in worthwhile math and science activities. I believe that some new Senator fans emerged after learning about the sport.

I always ask my students at the end of the year to share some of their favourite moments of grade 6. Time and again, the Future Goals program came up as their favourite activity of the year.

What best practices would you share with other teachers?

  • Love what you’re doing! If you show that you are enthusiastic about a topic, the students will likely respond positively to what you are teaching. It never hurts to show that you have a sense of humour, too.
  • If you can get them engaged and focused on what they are learning, you will have them hooked. This can be best accomplished with activity based lessons and more of a constructivist approach, rather than the students sitting and listening to the teacher lecturing – they become active participants in their own learning!
  • Make it “real”! Students shouldn’t have to ask, ”Why do I ever have to know this?” Providing opportunities for authentic learning experiences is an invaluable practice in the classroom. It provides the students with a keen sense of purpose for the learning activity, and highly motivates them by making connections to their real lives and the world around them.
  • We need to realize that it is okay to share the teaching with online work. As technology becomes more available in the classroom, it is important to utilize these tools in connection with face-to-face discussions. In other words, the students are not supposed to just log on the computer and the teacher just sits back and hopes that learning is happening. I’ve found you must plan thoughtful discussions that complement the online experience, and instigate peer to peer conversations using accountable talk and building on each other’s discoveries and ideas. I feel that the integration of these two learning tools together is key!

Do you have any advice for other teachers considering using Hockey Scholar?

Don’t hesitate to adopt EverFi. Do it for sure! After completing the course for the first time last year, the course has now become a staple in my Math and Science classes and will be for years to come. Think of yourself as essentially the ‘coach’, shaping their skill development, guiding them to be their best, and assisting the students in reaching their future goals.

Thanks for taking the time to talk with us, Sean!

Thank you to the NHL, NHLPA and EverFi for the time and effort that went into producing such a worthwhile and engaging STEM educational program!

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Skating Into STEM Careers

The air outside is brisk, the leaves are just turning, and there’s a hint of fall in the air.  Hockey season is here! As you head into the rink to watch your favorite team (Go Coyotes!), did you know that it also serves as a basketball stadium or concert arena? How do they change the floor from hardwood to ice? It must be a big job!

You stand in line to get your ticket scanned. You bought your ticket online; the hockey team’s website is your favorite one to visit. It has stats, player pictures, the game schedule, videos, and even an online store for fan gear!  Who designs all of these digital tools to bring the game to life?

As you walk through the doors of the hockey rink, you’re met by the cold air and the crowd of people dressed in similar outfits as yours. The smell of popcorn and hotdogs fill the air.  There are advertisements for restaurants all around the hallway and it’s hard to decide where to grab your first snack. You pass several booths and shops selling team gear ranging from jerseys to large foam fingers. It’s interesting to think about who makes the decisions about what kinds of things to sell and how much to sell them for…you settle on a hot dog and go to take your seat.  

Time to log in to the WiFi and send out a Snapchat and Instagram photo of you watching your favorite team win. But who makes sure there is enough bandwidth for all the fans? As you enjoy the rest of the game, you keep your questions in the back of your mind.  After all, hockey is your favorite sport and it would be a dream come true to work in a science or technology career at the ice rink!

I think you all can probably see where we are going with this blog post; there are a lot of people that make an NHL game happen! While we love to watch and cheer on our favorite players, it is pretty fascinating to think about all of the STEM-based careers that exist within the game of hockey. Our three goals (hat trick pun intended) with Hockey Scholar.


As fans are gearing up for a great Hockey season, hundreds of STEM professionals at all 30 clubs, at the NHL offices and the NHL Player’s Association are preparing to offer fans the best experience possible. In addition to the careers highlighted in Future Goals – Hockey Scholar such as the ice technician and equipment manager, there are many more! Check out some of the careers currently posted at www.hockeyjobs.nhl.com:

  • Website Coordinator  Website coordinators are responsible for the upkeep of the team website including the design and content. Coordinators focus on layout and function to support team needs but want to be sure it looks great for fans and is user-friendly. It is important that these individuals have the following skills:
    • Bachelor’s Degree in communications, media or computer science preferred
    • Content management experience
    • HTML writing
    • Strong writing and communication skills
    • Attention to detail and quality of work
    • Flexibility to work nights and weekends
  • Operations Technician – Operations Technicians ensure everything runs smoothly (pun intended). Their job is to be a great team member and will perform duties such as assisting the preparation and maintenance of the ice. Job seekers should apply if they fit the following: 
    • High School Diploma or G.E.D
    • Ability to monitor mechanical systems
    • Basic working knowledge of electrical circuits, breakers, courtesy power including GFI and lighting
    • Experienced in general building repairs
  • Data Analytics Manager  This person is responsible for understanding all sources of team data on the business side. Data Analytics Managers also perform data-driven research to identify ways to grow team revenue and to identify trends in marketing. What is selling well in the store? What marketing campaigns are driving fans to the website? Required skills and education for someone in this role include:
    • Bachelor’s degree required with 2+ years experience in the industry
    • Ability to solve complex, analytical problems
    • Comfortable working with multiple, large databases
    • Team player who enjoys fast paced and innovative environment
    • Proven ability to communicate process and results of data analysis clearly
  • Graphics Operator  Graphics Operators assists in-game production for the arena. The graphic operator is responsible for pushing out all in-game graphics and updating videos and images for use in the game presentations on the jumbotron and displays around the arena. This person also posts player statistics throughout the game for individual players so fans are in the know! Graphics operators possess the following:
    • Bachelor’s Degree
    • Experience with Photoshop
    • Self-confident, resilient and possess a high energy level and enthusiasm
    • Strategic and critical thinker with problem solving skills
    • Well organized and able to manage own time
  • IT Manager – IT Managers provide technical support and make recommendations for best systems to ensure a safe, reliable internet network at the arena. IT Managers also provide operational support in the distribution of game and programming content in the suites, fan shops, and meeting spaces during the games. It is also a key part of the job to stay current on new technology and research their impact on team operations. When applying for this position, hiring managers look for the following:
    • Bachelor’s degree in computer science or related field
    • Intuitive and creativity for improving work
    • Proficient with installing and configuring computer hardware and software
    • Troubleshooting skills
    • Excellent verbal and written communication skills

As technology is changing, new careers in hockey are created every day that may fit a student’s interest. Keep up to date with all available careers at www.hockeyjobs.nhl.com, or head to FutureGoals.NHL.com/Resources to hear from current NHL staff and how their job relates to STEM. 

**All career descriptions were pulled from www.hockeyjobs.nhl.com and modified for understanding**


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Jessica Golden is a Senior Schools Manager based in Arizona supporting the Southwest. Jessica moved to Phoenix as a Teach for America corps member in 2010 and Arizona has been her home ever since — though you will still find her cheering on the Kansas City Royals! Follow her on Twitter @Golden_EverFi.
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Dana Benedict is a Schools Manager based in Las Vegas, supporting Nevada and New Mexico. After living and teaching in Washington, D.C. for six years, she returned to her hometown in 2015 and loves supporting local educators. You can find her on Twitter @dbenedicteverfi.

Student Blog Contest Winner

Our final student blog post of the 2015-2016 school year comes from middle schooler Eowyn M of Maine. Eowyn writes that the Vault – Understanding Money™ course taught her to make good financial decisions now, in order to help her achieve her dreams in the future. Thank you, Eowyn, for sharing your story with us!

Student: Eowyn M
Teacher: Haley Harwood
School: Westbrook Middle School
State: Maine
Sponsor: MassMutual Foundation

Vault helped me figure out how to achieve my dream. My dream is to own my own animal shelter. I plan to buy a house, and have the animal shelter on the first floor, and my living space on the second floor. I would only take hurt animals and lost animals in my shelter because it’s not fair to take animals out of their habitat. Take lizard for example. That lizard would be better off with his family in the wild. Maybe we wouldn’t feed him right or he wouldn’t be happy and would die of depression, loneliness, or anxiety. All those things we would have to consider in my animal shelter.

Vault helped me realize how I plan to run my business when I grow up. It helped me look at it a different way, and see how running your own business isn’t as easy as it sounds. Vault helped me with knowing good ways to save and spend my money. Like putting aside some cash to save for a business or college in the future. I plan to go to the University of New England for college. Vault also helped me with knowing which decisions are smart, and which decisions weren’t. Vault also helped me out by telling me what things are needs and what are wants. That will really come in handy when I start to think about buying a house for the shelter. I will need to be really responsible with my money. 

Because of Vault, I went home and asked my mom to set up a savings account for my animal shelter and college and we did! Now whenever I receive money, I put it in my savings account to use it to help me with my future in taking care of animals.

Student Blog Contest Winner

Today we’re featuring a guest post from Michigan student Eric C who shares how the Ignition – Digital Literacy and Responsibility™ course taught him to think critically about the image he portrays of himself on the Internet. Congrats to Eric for being one of our student blog contest winners!

Student: Eric C
Teacher: Anthony Wright
School: Sterling Heights Senior High School
State: Michigan
Sponsor: NHL, NHLPA

With the ever increasing significance of technology in our daily lives, what we do online is making a bigger impact on our futures. The EverFi program has taught me about the potential consequences my choices may cause, through the engaging and interactive Ignition program.

For a while now, I’ve known that social media and text messaging can be a cause of controversy, especially when it comes to viral trends. However, I didn’t realize how quickly something as harmless as a picture or video could be spread to a larger audience, many of whom may be critical of the contents. I already knew that I could potentially hurt my chances of getting a job in the future, but I didn’t know the true scope of how far the damage would go.

After completing the Ignition course, I found myself with the challenge of deciding whether to post a risky status update online or not. At the time, it seemed like no harm would come from it, as most teenagers would do. However, I realized that the language and content of the message would be painting a less than ideal image of myself on the Internet. Because future employers and educational establishments will be able to see that, I decided against posting that status. Afterwards, I went back and edited all of my social media profiles, removing any questionable content, leaving behind a clean image of who I am and what I stand for.

Student Blog Contest Winner

Today we’re featuring a guest post from California student Luis G who shares how EverFi – Financial Literacy™ helped him realize the benefits of keeping his money in a savings account rather than under his mattress. Congrats to Luis for being one of our student blog contest winners!

Student: Luis G
Teacher: Thu Nguyen
School: Middle College High School
State: California
Sponsor: Union Bank

My dreams for the future are to go to the University of California, Irvine and earn a business degree and get a career in the business world. The EverFi program has helped prepare me to achieve those goals by helping me save money through a variety of ways. Thanks to EverFi enhancing what I know about savings, I’ve been saving more money through the power of interest. I have a savings account, which at first may seem small, but it adds up later on. EverFi also has given me extra help for the financial aid application process for college. I knew very little, but thanks to EverFi it made it a simple and painless process. Not only that, but I gained a greater understanding of lifetime earnings when it comes to the education that you receive. That with higher degrees you would earn more money over the course of your lifetime. EverFi helped explain what subsidized and unsubsidized loans are which is a big help for me in the near future. Subsidized is the best option of the two because the federal government will help cover the interest I accumulated while I am still in school, unlike unsubsidized loans where I would be held fully responsible for paying all the interest that accumulates on my loan. The final way that EverFi has helped me is by helping me learn on how to invest in the future. It’s better to do something with the money than leave it all alone under my mattress where I gain nothing from it being there.

Student Blog Contest Winner

Today we’re featuring a guest post from Maryland student Jahzara T who shares how Radius – STEM Career Readiness™ helped her realize how math will help her achieve her career goals. Congrats to Jahzara for being one of our student blog contest winners!

Student: Jahzara T
Teacher: David Lai
School: Thomas Johnson Middle School
State: Maryland
Sponsor: American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)

In the future, I plan on working in any field related to science (specifically biology) and traveling the world. I also hope to earn a Ph.D. in college and complete missionary work within the environment in other countries. In order to complete these tasks, math will play a huge role. In our everyday lives, math is all around us. The EverFi Radius course helped me understand certain topics in math more and also introduced me to some key concepts that I have never learned before. In this program, I learned how to decrypt or encrypt binary numbers, different systems and networks, and also reviewed other skills, like using formulas involving pi and using the order of operations. Radius incorporates real-life scenarios to help me understand how different formulas or processes can be used in everyday life. Not only did it teach lessons about certain topics, but it also provided a list of careers that I could choose from. Even though examples from the real world were given, the program also found a way to make it fun to complete the activities. I was first assigned as an agent and could make a customized character. I was then given an agent file and a smartphone with applications to unlock as I completed certain modules. EverFi Radius was not only educational, but fun as well.

Student Blog Contest Winner

Today we’re featuring a guest post from Michigan student Emily L who shares how the EverFi – Financial Literacy™ course taught her that it’s important for every person to learn about personal finance, regardless of what career they want to pursue. Congrats to Emily for being one of our student blog contest winners!

Student: Emily L
Teacher: Christy McGee
School: Saline High School
State: Michigan
Sponsor: TCF Bank

Prior to going through the EverFi program I didn’t have a very good understanding of anything financial. Upon completion of this program, I gained a greater understanding of a variety of finance related topics. In essence, EverFi gave me a preview of what else is out there. The unknown is often intimidating, but this program showed me that the world of finance is nothing to fear, but rather something to embrace and even benefit from.

I used to be turned away by the topic of finance. I figured that since I do not want a career at a bank or something along those lines, I did not actually need to pay attention to such a topic. Wrong! We make financial choices all day long that could be detrimental if we aren’t aware of the impact they are making. I learned that financial mistakes can have a lasting impact. If EverFi hadn’t gone into detail about the hazards of using a credit card, it might not stick in my mind as something to be hyper aware of. Even though I still do not love learning about finance, I at least have a better idea of it and I know not to fear it.

Thanks to EverFi, I now put more thought into my purchases. Is it a need or a want? Is there something else I am saving up for? Those are common questions I ask myself more frequently after completing the program. In addition, I now take a couple dollars out of each paycheck I receive and put them in my savings account rather than deposit the whole paycheck into my checking account. I believe this is a smart choice that will benefit me in the future. I think that it is cool that EverFi influenced me to do so.

Announcing the Student Blog Contest Winners!

Thank you to the record number of students who submitted blog contest entries this year! We loved reading all the stories about how EverFi courses have had a positive impact on your lives, and we can’t wait to share them on the blog in the coming weeks. Congratulations winners!

Emily L, Saline High, Michigan

Jahzara T, Thomas Johnson Middle, Maryland

Luis G, Middle College High, California

Eric C, Sterling Heights Senior High, Michigan

Eowyn M, Westbook Middle, Maine