Hawaiian Community Assets

Young Native Hawaiian Leader Honored as Innovative Financial Educator


Visa Inc. Sponsors Teachers Attend 2014 Jump$tart Coalition National Educator Conference
Visa Inc. sponsored teachers attend 2014 Jump$tart Coalition National Educator Conference in Los Angeles.

HAWAII - Young Native Hawaiian leader and Hawaiian Community Assets Program Coordinator, Lahela Williams (pictured right), was recently honored as an Innovative Financial Educator by Visa, Inc. for her work in delivering place-based financial education to assist 560 students on Oahu's Waianae Coast become college- and career-ready.


Ms. Williams was chosen as of 1 of 7 nationally recognized financial educators.  Visa, Inc. reported receiving over 400 nominations from similar educators throughout the United States.


"The only way to affect change is to be the change," shared Ms. Williams, who grew up in the community of Papakolea on Oahu.  "Having the opportunity to teach kids about budgeting...making money, saving money, growing money allows me to help students from Waianae to Waimea in becoming part of something bigger - a movement for financial autonomy. Hawaiian Community Assets' place-based Kahua Waiwai financial education program has a vision to not only serve our children, but our families as well, so together we can re-establish economic self-sufficiency within our island communities."


As an Innovative Financial Educator, Ms. Williams received a scholarship from Visa, Inc. to attend the National Jump$tart Coalition's Educators Conference held in Los Angeles in November.  The event was coordinated by the National Jump$tart Coalition, a Washington, DC based nonprofit organization that supports 49 State Coalitions that share a commitment to advancing financial literacy among pre-school through college-age youth and working collaboratively toward effective financial education.  Ms. Williams serves as a member on the local Hawaii Jump$tart Coalition which convenes meetings quarterly.


"I want to mahalo VISA for their generosity and their recognition.  Without their support, I would have never had the ability to attend the National Jump$tart Educators Conference which provided a wealth of resources for financial educators like myself that we can take back to our communities and continue our work in building the financial capabilities of our young people," finished Williams.


 For more information about the National Jump$tart Educators Conference, visit http://www.jumpstartcoalition.org/home.html.