New York, NY – April 22, 2021

Working in Support of Education (W!se), a national educational nonprofit, announced the 2021 ranking of its“100 Best W!se High Schools Teaching Personal Finance” today during a virtual ceremony sponsored by Voya Financial®. The High School for Math, Science, and Engineering in New York City earned first place. Hurley High School from Virginia placed second. Holston High School, also from Virginia, placed third. Foreman High School located in Arkansas placed fourth. Passaic County Technical Institute in New Jersey placed fifth.

The “100 Best W!se High Schools Teaching Personal Finance”, in its ninth year, is the first and only national ranking in high school financial education, recognizing excellence in personal finance instruction within W!se’s national network of schools participating in its Financial Literacy Certification program.

Angela Harrell, senior vice president, Chief Diversity & Corporate Responsibility Officer and Voya Foundation President opened the ceremony by saying, “I find inspiration in the quiet heroics of people who act with integrity and responsibility within their own sphere of influence. Those leaders are the educators here today. You can influence hundreds of students year after year. I applaud the schools for their commitment to financial literacy and their investment in making a difference in students’ lives.”

The keynote speaker, Dr. Annamaria Lusardi, Founder and Academic Director of the Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center and University Professor at The George Washington University said, “We have learned how to make financial education more effective via programs like this one…we have very clear evidence that financial education works. Not only is it effective…it is also cost effective. So, I think that is good news and we should celebrate today. These schools have been able to do such a great job in providing financial literacy.” She also noted, “During the financial crisis…financial literacy has acted as a shield to protect people against shocks.”

Sterling Roberson, Vice President of the United Federation of Teachers, joined Angela Harrell in announcing the top ten schools in the country. The ceremony was attended by district administrators, principals, assistant principals, CTE coordinators, personal finance educators, students, and members the W!se Board and Junior Board.

Phyllis Perillo, President and CEO of W!se said, “The pandemic highlighted the importance of, and urgent need for, financial education.” She expressed hope that more states will take action. “We can too, by helping to increase the number of schools and/or the number of students being taught personal finance,” said Perillo. “It’s a matter of equity that young people have the knowledge and skills to make informed financial decisions, avoid pitfalls, be aware of financial products and services, use them wisely, and have a life of financial wellbeing.”

The “100 Best” schools participate in W!se’s Financial Literacy Certification program supports personal finance instruction in high schools. Participating schools teach personal finance and administer W!se’s Financial Literacy Certification Test. Students passing the Test become Certified Financially Literate™ (CFL), a nationally recognized credential. Through the program, now offered in 49 states, more than one million students have graduated from high school financially literate. Metrics for the “100 Best” schools ranking includes the average Test score from each school with consideration given to the number of test takers and the socio-economic background of the students at each school.

For the complete list of this year’s 100 Best schools, click here.

About Working in Support of Education (W!se)
Working in Support of Education (W!se) is a leading educational nonprofit based in New York City with a mission to improve the lives of young people and at-risk adults through programs that develop financial literacy and readiness for college and the workforce. For more information, visit Follow W!se on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @wisenewyork.

About Voya Financial®
Voya Financial, Inc. (NYSE: VOYA), helps Americans plan, invest and protect their savings — to get ready to retire better. Serving the financial needs of approximately 13.8 million individual and institutional customers in the United States, Voya is a Fortune 500 company that had $7.5 billion in revenue in 2019. The company had $657 billion in total assets under management and administration as of Sept. 30, 2020. With a clear mission to make a secure financial future possible — one person, one family, one institution at a time — Voya’s vision is to be America’s Retirement Company®. Certified as a “Great Place to Work” by the Great Place to Work® Institute, Voya is equally committed to conducting business in a way that is socially, environmentally, economically and ethically responsible. Voya has been recognized as a 2020 World’s Most Admired Company by Fortune magazine; one of the 2020 World’s Most Ethical Companies® by the Ethisphere Institute; as a member of the Bloomberg Gender Equality Index; and as a “Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion” on the Disability Equality Index by Disability:IN. For more information, visit Follow Voya Financial on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter @Voya.

About Voya Foundation
Voya Foundation’s mission is to improve the quality of life in communities where Voya Financial operates and its employees and customers live. Voya Foundation provides grants and establishes signature partnerships in the areas of financial literacy and children’s education and fosters employee engagement to deepen our positive impact on the community. For more information, visit

Media Contact
Samantha Spina
Working in Support of Education (W!se)

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