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Posted April 9, 2013

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Road to Financial Literacy is 100 Yards Long

AHS students play Financial Football with state officials, Broncos player.

State Auditor Hector Balderas (center), State Treasurer James Lewis (right) and Broncos TE Joel Dreessen (back, center) played Financial Football with AHS students.

Knowing what APR stands for (Annual Percentage Rate) might be worth five yards, and could keep you from making a life-altering mistake with credit cards.

Albuquerque High School’s DECA students were the first in New Mexico to try out Financial Football, an interactive game that teaches financial literacy. They divided into two teams, one led by Denver Broncos tight end Joel Dreessen, the other captained by State Auditor Hector Balderas and State Treasurer James Lewis, who first spoke to students about the importance of learning how the financial world works.

“It is so critical for young people to learn smart money management skills. They are basic building blocks for success in today's competitive and changing world,” Lewis said.

Sponsored by New Mexico Jump$tart, Wells Fargo and Visa, Financial Football asks players to select a play for their team, like a long pass or a run up the middle. The play selected determines the degree of difficulty of the question on finances. If the players get it correct, the team moves forward on the field. If not, the defense gets an opportunity and the offense can lose yards. The Broncos vs. Cowboys game engaged the AHS students.

Dreessen shared a story about having received an $88,000 signing bonus as a sixth-round draft choice of the New York Jets, but he drove to New York in his 1993 Ford pick-up. Other players teased him about it, but it looked like a sound financial choice a year later when the Jets released him. He told students that not understanding how money works could have left him broke when lost his job.

New Mexico Jump$tart is introducing Financial Football and its financial literacy curriculum to all high schools in the state.

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