Nusenda selects 2023 Financial Education Innovation Award winners

ALBUQUERQUE, NM (May 22, 2023) — Last week, Nusenda announced the 2023 Financial Education Innovation Award winners. These awards demonstrate Nusenda’s ongoing commitment to strengthening communities and investing in innovative solutions that improve education, health, social, and economic outcomes.

“These awards are designed to recognize and support organizations and educators who are teaching financial well-being to New Mexicans in unique ways,” said Joe Christian, Nusenda President and CEO. “We are proud to fund such innovative and impactful teachers and organizations who are working to provide a brighter future for New Mexico.”

This year, the Credit Union awarded a total of $20,000 to one organization, one school program, and two educators.

$15,000 was awarded to NMCAN, a local nonprofit that engages with young people in lowincome communities who have been affected by the foster care system, juvenile justice, or homelessness. Their programs connect young people with supportive networks and financial wellness resources so they can gain life skills and positively impact their communities.

$3,000 was awarded to a program offered by Ms. Choneska, Mr. Mannella, Ms. Espina, and Ms. Scarlott from Cochiti Elementary School. These teachers use a classroom economy to teach students foundational knowledge about personal finance, including how to pay bills, keep personal transaction records, earn money, and use debit cards.

$1,000 was awarded to Terri Bitsie, a teacher at Alamosa Elementary school. Ms. Bitsie provides non-evaluative, extended learning opportunities to students, including a Financial Capability unit for 3rd through 5th grade students in bilingual/dual language classrooms. Her program teaches students about real-world financial topics, including credit cards, debit cards, and cash handling.

$1,000 was awarded to Mike Nair, a teacher at Highland High School. Mr. Nair designed a twoweek learning series where students can create their own businesses and compete for limited funds. After students learn about key topics, such as economics, supply and demand, opportunity costs, loans, and interest rates, they apply their knowledge and create a pitch presentation for real-world financial professionals to fund a start-up loan.

Congratulations to this year’s recipients! For more information, visit the Nusenda Foundation website.

About Nusenda Credit Union

Nusenda Credit Union is New Mexico’s largest locally owned and operated credit union with over 260,000 members and more than 800 employees. It has more than 25 branches throughout New Mexico in Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, Santa Fe, Taos, Valencia County, Socorro, Deming, and Las Cruces; as well as locations in El Paso, Texas. There are hundreds of ways to join the credit union. Connect with Nusenda Credit Union at; Facebook, Twitter (X), and LinkedIn.


Eric Harrison

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