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Oregon’s 2024 Financial Empowerment Champions Are A Portland-Based Business Education Nonprofit And A West Albany High School Business Teacher
Annual awards announced as part of Financial Literacy Month

Oregon’s annual Financial Empowerment Awards recognize heroes in classrooms and communities across the state who advance financial learning, consumer protection and financial freedom.

Announced by State Treasurer Tobias Read, the winners of the 2024 Oregon Financial Empowerment Awards are West Albany High School business teacher Joey Running and the nonprofit Portland-based Oregon Business Academy, which connects students from across the state with an intensive weeklong business training camp.

The winners of the awards were announced during a meeting of the Oregon Financial Empowerment Advisory Team, as part of Treasury’s observance of Financial Literacy Month. The award recipients will each receive a combination of cash rewards and scholarships via the Oregon College Savings Plan. These contributions aim to further support and empower Ms. Running and Oregon Business Academy’s impactful work.

“In today’s society, financial literacy is a survival skill,” said Treasurer Read, the chair of the advisory team. “These financial empowerment heroes are helping Oregonians to develop tools to succeed -- and to know better what traps to avoid.”

Nominees came from across the state including from Lakeview, Grants Pass, Creswell, Albany, Bend and Portland.

Financial Empowerment Educator of the Year: Joey Running, a business educator at West Albany High School, who was recently named the 2024 teacher of the year by the National Business Educators Association, is a national leader when it comes to financial instruction. Her 10 nominations came from students, peers, a state nonprofit leader, and the director of the national Jump$tart Coalition for Financial Education.

Running will receive $1,500 and West Albany High School will receive $500. In addition, students chosen at random at the school will share a total of $500 in scholarships from the Oregon College Savings Plan.

“The greatest reward in education is being able to witness our students take lessons from the classroom and apply them in the "real" world,” Running said. “Helping to prepare students with workplace readiness and basic financial skills necessary to navigate their lives benefits them, their communities, and Oregon. I have been lucky to be a part of their journeys. “

Financial Empowerment Community Champion: Oregon Business Academy and its director, Anne Adler. The nonprofit organizes and stages a weeklong intensive business education and entrepreneurship camp, and fundraises for scholarships for low-income students.

“Oregon Business Academy invests in high school students to build and brighten their economic futures, as well as Oregon's,” Adler said. “We serve students from diverse backgrounds, recognizing that all our communities have a part to play in building a thriving state where companies and top talent want to reside.”

The Academy’s 2024 weeklong camp, Business Week, will be held at Oregon State University this summer.

Oregon Business Academy will receive $2,000, and as part of the “Pay It Forward” aspect of the award, it can designate a partner organization to receive an additional $500. That designee is Adelente Mujeres in Hillsboro.

Candidates for the Financial Empowerment Awards are identified via nominations to the Oregon Treasury’s financial empowerment initiative. Winners are selected by a subcommittee of the Financial Empowerment Advisory Team, which meets quarterly to amplify financial literacy and financial inclusion efforts statewide.

Entries will be accepted beginning in November for the 2025 awards.

The awards are sponsored in partnership with the Oregon College Savings Plan, a Treasury program that helps Oregonians statewide save for job training and higher education costs – which reduces the need for student debt later.


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