From STEM Learner to Game Designer

Today we’re featuring an excerpt from Harsha, a middle school student who participated in the Future Goals Program, earning his Hockey Scholar certification. Harsha shares how these sports-focused STEM lessons helped him realize a new career opportunity worth pursuing– game design! Congratulations to Harsha for being one of our scholarship recipients!


Student: Harsha
Teacher: Mrs. Murray
School: Fowler Middle School
State: Texas
Sponsor: NHL and NHLPA

“Over the course of my life, I have had many dreams for the future, but for the past year or two, I have been striving to reach what I think is going to end up being my dream career. I plan on being a game developer. I want to be on the team who codes the games, though I would also like to have a say in the ideas made during planning. For this reason, I want to go to MIT for college to get this education.

What I learned in the Future Goals: Hockey Scholar EVERFI course can, and probably will, help me in many ways. The knowledge of how friction works against magnitude, which is how hard something is pushed or pulled, could be very useful for certain types of games, such as racing games, where the controls and steering have to feel realistic and not phony. Friction and magnitude could also prove significant in a sports game, such as FIFA, Madden, or NHL, where players could be running, but have to quickly stop and move in a different direction to avoid their opponents.

Something else that I learned in the course that would help me in game development is the knowledge of what incoming and outgoing angles are. I learned that both the incoming and outgoing angles are equal, and that the inside angle, or the angle formed by the incoming and outgoing angles, is equal to 180 degrees when it is added to the incoming and the outgoing angle. This would be used in a game about something like billiards, pool, or hockey, where balls or pucks have to “bounce” off of a wall or border to get to a certain position.

One more thing that I learned was how to properly write coordinates and also how to plot them accurately. I could use this when designing and creating levels. I would have to put everything in the proper place, and using coordinates could help me do that. I had learned that when writing coordinates, you always have to write the x-value and then the y-value, no matter what the situation is. Plotting and following coordinates could be used in a game which involves war, or flight in which you have to fly to a certain point on a map or globe.

Everything that I learned in the Hockey Scholar course will be useful someday, but these key points will prove important when pursuing this career. I would benefit from this scholarship because it would help pay for the place I am going to after high school, which is college. The $1000 would prove supportive by helping me get into the college of my dreams, MIT. I really hope for the best, and this EVERFI course is going to help in the long run!”


Continuing the Legacy of Activism

Today we’re featuring an excerpt from Janiya, a high school student who recently earned her 306 – African American History certification. Janiya reflects on how the themes of inequity and perseverance presented within 306 are tied to her personal experiences now. Congratulations to Janiya for being one of our scholarship recipients!


Student: Janiya
Teacher: Ms. Davis
School: White Station High School
State: Tennessee
Sponsor: REGIONS

“As I completed the Civil Rights Movement lesson of 306 – African American History and learned about historic cases such as Brown vs. Board and the courageous actions of Ruby Bridges, I thought about myself and the thousands of other black youth who are constantly living the same reality of separate and unequal schools. The right to quality education no matter your race, class, or zip code has become a fight that is worth the battle every day.

My frustration and passion fueled into a cause. The blatant injustice of educational disparities among youth in my city contributes to generational poverty and limits opportunity for all. Through my life experiences and work as a community-organizer on educational justice, I have clearly identified how identities play a role in the privileges of education in America. I have realized it is my purpose in life to ensure every youth has access to the right of quality education in our country.

Those most affected by the problem should always be a part of the solution. In the case of education, youth are most affected by the American public school system yet our voices are never acknowledged. Youth have always been the foundation and driving principle of change throughout every movement in history. 306 was most inspiring for me when I learned about the youth of Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). Seeing black youth lead the Civil Rights Movement of America was such a reassurance in my passion and work ethic towards equity.

Most importantly, 306 taught me the importance of continuing the legacies of activism that African-American leaders have set before for me. While taking this EVERFI course, I have appreciated the life lessons and hidden history I have learned of my culture and our journey that is not fully taught throughout American education curriculum. As I embark on this journey of higher education, I plan to be a vital part of this movement towards equity and become a beacon for those most vulnerable in our country.”


Teaching with Infographics

Congratulations – Fall Scholarship Contest Winners!

We’re thrilled to share we received more than 2,200 student entries in the Fall Scholarship Contest! We loved learning how EVERFI’s real-world learning courses have had a positive impact on these students’ lives, and we look forward to sharing their thoughtful and inspiring stories in the coming weeks.

Congratulations to our seven $1,000 scholarship winners from across the U.S. and Canada who will each receive either a 529 College Savings Scholarship or RESP Contribution!

Cass Technical High School – Michigan – EVERFI: Financial Literacy for High School
Wolfville School, Nova Scotia –  Future Goals: Hockey Scholar
White Station High School, Tennessee – 306 African American History
Fowler Middle School, Texas – Future Goals: Hockey Scholar
Garner-Hayfield-Ventura High School, Iowa – EVERFI: Financial Literacy for High School
Happy Hollow Elementary, Indiana – Vault: Understanding Money
McMurrich Junior Public School, Ontario – Vault: Understanding Money
Traditional vs. Digital Marketing

Is Your Financial Institution Prepared for the Digital Age?

The digital age, as it has with so many facets of daily life, has permanently altered how regular consumers use and view financial institutions. Consider that today’s consumer only walks into a physical branch an average of three times per year; in 1995, they visited a branch more than 24 times a year. Today it’s easier than ever before to transfer money, apply for loans, make deposits and payments, and get information—without ever setting foot inside a bank or credit union.

While consumer banking habits have changed, many banks have not changed their marketing and advertising tactics to keep up. And this is a problem. Non-traditional services like PayPal, Square, and Mint have ridden the digital wave and are crowding the financial services playing field. If traditional financial institutions want to compete, they need to embrace digital marketing.

Traditional Advertising vs. Digital Marketing

While we’re not suggesting you scrap your traditional advertising channels altogether, it’s important to know why they are limiting. The problem with traditional advertising is that it’s one-dimensional—it sends a single message and hopes that it is being received. Digital marketing, on the other hand, allows for continued personalized interaction with your brand, offers opportunities for consumers to take immediate action, and lets you track results.

Financial education is a great example. When banks and credit unions offer online opportunities for learning, their consumers and prospects have a chance to interact with the brand. They are receiving valuable education, but they’re also on the financial institution’s website, interacting with the brand, exploring, and simultaneously building trust in the brand. When they need a financial service, they are more likely to choose the brand that they’ve already come to respect. And—since they’ve provided access to online education modules—financial institutions can track consumer progress and follow up with other relevant offerings.

Learning why digital marketing matters is only the first step. For more information on how your financial institution can get started with digital marketing, download the complete guide here.