The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation's (FDIC's) Money Smart financial education program has been awarded a Service to America Medal by the Partnership for Public Service, it was announced today. Money Smart and the FDIC Community Affairs team that has implemented the program are being recognized for "making a significant contribution to the nation in activities related to business and commerce," according to the Partnership for Public Service. Nelson Hernandez, FDIC National Coordinator for Community Affairs, and representatives from the FDIC's Community Affairs offices nationwide will receive the award this evening during a gala ceremony at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC. The Service to America Medals are intended to honor the finest achievements of the nation's public servants.
"This is a proud day for the FDIC," said Chairman Don Powell. "The Money Smart team has worked hard to help more than 100,000 low- and moderate-income Americans increase their understanding of the banking system and take steps toward achieving financial independence for themselves and their families."
The Partnership for Public Service is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to revitalizing public service through a campaign of educational efforts, policy research, public-private partnerships and legislative advocacy. By improving public understanding and confidence in government, particularly among young people, the Partnership fills a critical role by helping to recruit and retain excellence in the federal workforce.
The Service to America medals - a joint initiative of the Partnership for Public Service and the magazines Government Executive, National Journal, and The Atlantic Monthly - are designed to recognize the accomplishments of America's best public servants. The medals honor people who have shown a strong commitment to public service and have made a significant contribution in their field of government.
The nine 2003 awardees were chosen by a selection committee that includes David Broder, national political correspondent at The Washington Post; Caroline Kennedy; U.S. Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK); the Honorable Donna Shalala, President of the University of Miami; Arthur Sulzberger, Chairman and Publisher of The New York Times; and Llewellyn Wells, co-executive producer of NBC's "The West Wing."
In addition to the FDIC's Money Smart team, this year's awardees include a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) official charged with eradicating polio worldwide; the individual who helped build the Transportation Security Agency (TSA) from two employees to 60,000 in less than one year; a State Department employee who helped defuse an international crisis at the age of 28; a former astronaut and physician who created an innovative patient safety program for hospitals around the world; and an Energy Department official overseeing the cleanup and containment of the destroyed nuclear reactor at Chernobyl – one of the most technically complex engineering projects in the world.
The FDIC developed the Money Smart program to help individuals enhance their money management skills, understand basic financial services and build their financial confidence to use banking services. Since the introduction of the FDIC's Money Smart Program in English in July 2001, more than 100,000 people have completed the course nationwide and over 14,000 new banking relationships have been established. Nationwide, the FDIC has distributed more than 93,000 copies of Money Smart to 24,000 financial institutions, faith-based organizations, city and community colleges, and federal government partners. Last year, the FDIC launched the Spanish language version of the curriculum; Chinese and Korean language versions were launched earlier this year. In addition to the English, Spanish, Chinese and Korean versions now available, Money Smart is being translated into Vietnamese; that version is scheduled for release later this year.
"I am deeply honored that Money Smart and the FDIC's Community Affairs team have been chosen to receive this award," said Donna Gambrell, FDIC Deputy Director for Compliance and Consumer Protection, who oversees the FDIC's community affairs program. "Nelson Hernandez and the entire staff will continue working hard to bring as many Americans as possible into the financial mainstream and help them achieve and sustain the American Dream."
Congress created the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in 1933 to restore public confidence in the nation's banking system. The FDIC insures deposits at the nation's 9,267 banks and savings associations and it promotes the safety and soundness of these institutions by identifying, monitoring and addressing risks to which they are exposed. The FDIC receives no federal tax dollars - insured financial institutions fund its operations.
FDIC press releases and other information are available on the Internet at www.fdic.gov or contact the FDIC's Public Information Center (877-275-3342 or (703) 562-2200).