NEW YORK, N.Y. – On Friday, June 10, Working in Support of Education (w!se) hosted its annual Scholars’ Reception to honor high school students who earned a score of 95% or higher on w!se’s 2015-16 national standardized Financial Literacy Certification Test. The Test is administered nationally each year in high schools that participate in w!se’s award-winning Financial Literacy Certification program.

The Reception was held at the majestic Museum of American Finance in New York City. Students received w!se’s National Scholars Award for their outstanding achievement; those who earned a perfect 100% score on the Test also received the “Centurion’s Honor Cord.” Featured speakers included Judy Chapa, VP of Corporate Social Responsibility, Financial Services Roundtable and Heather Dougherty, Regional Financial Sales Leader, Allstate Insurance. Lisa E. Solomon, Founder & CEO of Social Entrepreneurs Intl., received the Award for Extraordinary Service. Rey Familia, a senior at the High School of Economics and Finance, received the Lisa E. Solomon Financial Literacy Award.

“These financial literacy scholars deserve a round of applause for their exceptional achievement on our certification test said w!se President & CEO Phyllis Frankfort Perillo.” “All high school students need to be prepared for their financial lives.”

Two of this year’s Scholars, Gillian Guss from Indian Hills High School in Oakland, NJ and Justin Genao from Aviation High School in Queens, New York also shared their experiences with the w!se program and how the program has affected their own money habits.

Ms. Guss said: “Learning about fundamental principles such as opportunity cost and utility have encouraged me to make better decisions when deciding whether to—and how to—spend money. Thanks to the w!se Financial Literacy Certification program, I am confident in my abilities to make wise financial decisions in both my immediate and distant futures.”

About the w!se Financial Literacy Program

The Financial Literacy Certification program is an innovative and high impact initiative in financial education designed to help high school students graduate financially literate. Participating schools teach a course on personal finance and then administer w!se’s national standardized Financial Literacy Certification Test. To support instruction, w!se provides professional development, a curriculum aligned to national and state standards and other value added teaching tools.

A hallmark program feature is the w!se CFL™. Students who pass the Certification Test become Certified Financially Literate (CFL™). The program, now in 43 states, is rapidly growing and has become integral to personal finance instruction in thousands of classrooms. It is supported by leading U.S. institutions including the Allstate Foundation, Citi Foundation, Wells Fargo Foundation, Voya Foundation, Popular Community Bank, Valley National Bank, Synchrony Bank, The Calvin K. Kazanjian Economics Foundation, The Muriel F. Siebert Foundation, the New York Credit Union Foundation, Deluxe Corporation, and Experian.

About w!se

Working In Support of Education (w!se), an educational not-for-profit, improves the lives of young people through programs that develop financial literacy and readiness for college and the workplace. Our Initiatives are built on five pillars – relevancy, real world experiences, strong partnerships, volunteerism, and evaluation. Follow w!se on Facebook and Twitter @wisenewyork. Media Contact: Steven Appel at

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