A program that helps students become more financially savvy has earned statewide recognition for Chippewa Valley Technical College.

Gov. Tony Evers recently honored CVTC with the Financial Literacy Award for its Money Matters program that educates students on financial aid and personal finance issues.

CVTC was one of 13 individuals, businesses and organizations to receive the 2018 Governor’s Financial Literacy Award in a ceremony at the State Capitol.

Other Financial Literacy Award winners with local ties were Vicki Hoehn, Eau Claire-based Royal Credit Union’s vice president of community engagement, and Junior Achievement of Wisconsin. Both were recognized in the legacy category for organizations, businesses or individuals whose purpose and heritage is ingrained in sustained financial literacy and capability.

The recipients were selected by the Governor’s Council on Financial Literacy from nominations submitted for consideration.

“When students make wise decisions about managing their money, they reduce their financial stress,” Margo Keys, vice president of student services at CVTC, said in a news release. “The Money Matters program at CVTC teaches students to save money and how to stretch their dollars. This helps their financial peace of mind.”

The technical college created the Money Matters program to deliver financial literacy in a fun, creative way.

It consists of monthly workshops, each with its own creative name. A workshop focusing on money habits and values was called Financially Fit, with a budgeting session called Budgeting the Benjamins, a debt and student loan repayment session called Debt-anator, and a credit session called Credit is your BFF. In each workshop, students learn valuable financial literacy information while playing games, eating free food, and winning prizes.

Since April 2018, CVTC had over 1,258 attendees participate in Money Matters activities. Another part of the program is Money Smart Week, set for April 22-26 this year to observe April as Financial Literacy Month.

“It’s apparent to those of us who work with students daily that financial stress and a lack of understanding of how to pay for college are some of the main reasons our students fail to persist,” Laura Ericson, manager of Student Central and the Money Matters program, said in the release. “We want them to learn the fundamentals of money management.”

CVTC Foundation secured financial and in-kind gifts to support the program, with WESTconsin Credit Union a main partner of the Money Matters program. Further partnerships to support the program area available through CVTC Foundation.

“Money Matters aligns with WESTconsin Credit Union’s mission of helping others achieve financial success,” Erika Schorbahn, vice president of the credit union’s Eau Claire and Altoona offices, said in the release. “We are passionate about how Money Matters helps empower students to make a strong financial foundation for themselves.”