Why I Show Up to Work (In My Home Office)

In a few short months I will be celebrating four years at EVERFI. Four years of helping educators use the resources that we create (for free) for K-12 schools. There have been lots of twists, turns, and even a couple of complete 180°s along the way, but there is one thing that keeps me powering up my computer every morning (even now, when I have three year old twins crawling all over me as I type this): I have always stood wholeheartedly behind our courses because I know the effect they can have on a student’s life.

What makes a writing teacher start teaching financial literacy?

Let’s take a quick trip back to 2015, when I was sitting in my classroom and one of my students, who I had known for all 4 years of his high school career, came to me to ask about payday loans. He was 19, finishing up his senior year, and had taken out one of these terrifying loans based on the paycheck from his part-time job — but he had no idea what the risks were or even the basics about taking out any kind of loan. I wasn’t a personal finance teacher — but in that moment I knew that it was imperative that I find something to help all of my students have a basic understanding of how to handle their finances before I sent them out into the world. It was a quick Google search that first brought me to EVERFI. I used the High School Financial Literacy course in my writing class that spring, because I knew it was critical to arm my students with the financial knowledge and skills that would make them successful in their lives.

For me, it has always been personal. But this year feels different, for so many reasons. 

Hello fall 2020. An international pandemic. Unprecedented unemployment numbers. Remote learning. Teachers, students and families are up against it right now. And in the swirl of all of this uncertainty, EVERFI is also launching two new high school personal finance courses. Is this the time for personal finance, with everything else that is going on? My answer is a resounding, unapologetic YES! 

This is a moment when students need to understand more about what their families are dealing with when money is tight. A moment when all teenagers should have the opportunity to learn about how to protect themselves against fraud when using virtual cash payment apps. A moment when high schoolers who may feel like the future is uncertain get the chance to dig deeply into the different ways to pay for college or trade school. And, let’s face it, a moment when teachers need access to engaging online resources to keep their students learning about meaningful, real-world topics while they’re at home. 

EVERFI’s High School Financial Wellness Suite

By the end of 2020, EVERFI will have five (!) courses on personal finance topics available to U.S. high school students. Here’s what we’re adding this fall:

Pathways: Financing Higher Education will empower students to become informed consumers and make wise financial decisions when choosing how to pay for their post-secondary education. 

Money Moves: Modern Banking & Identity Protection will help students develop strategies for managing their finances through online and mobile banking tools, with a specific focus on safely using virtual payment apps.

EVERFI: Financial Literacy teachers are some of our most long-time users, and probably the educators that I’ve personally worked with the most. So, thanks for coming along with me on this journey. Most of all, thank you for being that teacher who educates their students about the real world topics they will need in the future. 

Keep an eye on your inbox – I hope you’ll join me on September 30th for a webinar that will dig into the Financial Wellness Suite and how to create a personal resource playlist to fit your students’ needs.


Lauren Pingul has been in education for the past ten years, as both a teacher and administrator. She worked as a Senior Schools Manager for EVERFI in Illinois, where she helped districts, schools and teachers implement no-cost digital resources in their classrooms. Lauren moved into the Product Marketing Specialist role earlier this year, and now helps teachers across North America gain access to engaging content around Diversity Education, STEM, Health and Wellness, Social Emotional Learning and Financial Literacy.

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