Washington State Department of Financial Institutions

News Release

Friday, May 14, 2010


Lyn Peters, Director of Communications
Cell 360.349.8501, Desk 360.902.8731 lyn.peters@dfi.wa.gov


Washington Students Take National And International Honors While Promoting Financial Education At Home

Toppenish’s Heritage SIFE team tops regionals, takes fourth at nationals while Auburn High School team takes first at international DECA championship

OLYMPIA – While national scores on financial literacy tests continue to drop, Washington students are showing they do have the financial smarts to make it big.

After taking top honors at this year’s Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE) regional competition in San Francisco, the Heritage University team from Toppenish went toe to toe against teams from all over the country this week at the SIFE National Competition in Minneapolis. Though many of their competitors came from much larger institutions than the small Yakima Valley university – the Heritage team embodied the SIFE motto of “A Head For Business. A Heart For The World.” and took top honors with a fourth place finish.

Earlier in the month, Auburn High School’s DECA Chapter -- represented by “Road To Riches” financial education project Co-Chairs Haylee Rice and Alyssa Opland – took their knowledge and expertise one step further – to international competition. The Auburn teens accepted the first place award for their project at the DECA International Career Development Conference in Louisville, Ky.

“These students are leaders in their communities,” Gov. Chris Gregoire noted. “The work these young people are doing goes far beyond competition – they’re making a positive difference that will have a long-lasting impact in their communities by educating their peers and helping some local businesses succeed.”

The Heritage SIFE team took honors not only for how well they presented, but also on how well they met SIFE’s seven mandatory components:

Three particular areas of the team’s focus have had significant impact on their community:

After regionals, the Heritage team also was a finalist for the Financial Literacy Topic Competition 2010 and Market Economics Topic Competition 2010.

Following the group’s mission of sharing their knowledge of business and finance with other students, the Auburn DECA students made financial education a priority this year. In addition to the 30-page plan and 15-minute presentation, judges considered the team’s overall project components:

“DFI is honored to work with such outstanding young citizens in our efforts to improve financial education throughout Washington,” DFI Director Scott Jarvis said. “These talented students clearly prove Washington is a leader when it comes to financial education and commitment to community.”

About Auburn High School DECA
Auburn High School (AHS), located in the heart of Auburn, Washington, has upheld to DECA's national standards since the start of the organization. AHS DECA is comprised of 120 students. The students engage in activities that promote the four points of the DECA Diamond: Social Intelligence, Vocational Understanding, Community Service, and Leadership. The chapter has been very successful reaching out to local students and making an impact in their business education. Along with success in their community, the chapter has seen numerous area, state, and national level medalists in DECA competitions. Ultimately, the goal of Auburn High School DECA is to spread their knowledge of business and finance to other students. For more information, contact Auburn DECA Advisor Lori Jacobs at ljacobs@auburn.wednet.edu or 253.931.4719

About Heritage SIFE
Heritage Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE) is part of an international non-profit organization that works with leaders in business and higher education to mobilize university students to make a difference in their community while developing the skills to become socially responsible leaders. Participating students form teams on their university campuses and apply business concepts to develop outreach projects that improve the quality of life and standard of living for people in need. In addition to the community aspect of the programs, SIFE’s leadership and career initiatives create meaningful opportunities for learning and exchange among the participants as well as the placement of students and alumni with companies in search of emerging talent. For more information about Heritage University SIFE contact Heritage Business Administration Chair and SIFE Advisor Leonard Black black_l@heritage.edu or 509.865.8561.

Heritage SIFE 2010 team members include:

About DFI
www.dfi.wa.gov ▪ 360.902-8700 ▪ 877.746-4334
The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions regulates a variety of financial service providers such as banks, credit unions, mortgage brokers, consumer loan companies, payday lenders and securities brokers and dealers. The department also works to improve financial education throughout Washington through its outreach programs and online clearinghouse www.dfi.wa.gov/financial-education. In addition to posting information about licensees and administrative actions, DFI uses the Web and social media to provide financial education information: http://www.twitter.com/FinEd4All, www.twitter.com/DFIConsumers, www.finlit.blogspot.com, www.youtube.com/user/WADFI, www.homeownership.wa.gov.

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