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January 24, 2024

CLiA’s financial literacy platform: Empowering students, enriching communities.

TDLR: The Center for Learning in Action (CLiA) at Williams College has launched a new financial literacy platform for all students, in collaboration with public benefit corporation Kindros. The platform offers nine modules covering various financial topics, such as credit scores and retirement savings, and aims to provide easy access to unbiased financial information. The initiative was designed to address a lack of personal finance education and equip students with essential financial skills. The platform launch event brought together members of the Residential Life Team’s (RLT) Life Beyond Williams group and a new registered student organization, the Low-Income Students Association (LISA).

Retired financial analyst Brad Bissell, a Williams College alumnus, noticed the lack of personal finance education and wanted to help students avoid financial mistakes. He partnered with Kindros, founded by Stephen Martiros, to develop a financial literacy platform for the average person. The collaboration with Williams College began three years ago, and after years of work, the platform is finally launched. The goal of the platform is to provide accessible and easily navigable financial education to students.

CLiA hopes that the platform will help students gain essential personal finance knowledge and skills. The platform covers a range of topics, including credit scores, retirement savings, and investing. It is designed to be flexible, with modules that can be completed in any order so students can skip information they are already familiar with. Teanna Bucci, a student outreach associate at CLiA and one of the founders of LISA, completed the course and found it valuable. She believes that the platform will be particularly helpful for low-income students who may not have had the opportunity to gain personal finance experience.

The College has recognized the need for personal finance education and sees the introduction of the platform as an opportunity to build student capacity for their own lives and empower them to share their knowledge with others. CLiA has two main aims in promoting this initiative: to serve students’ personal finance learning needs and to facilitate more community-engaged scholarship in this area. The College hopes that the availability of the financial literacy platform will have a positive impact on the student body.