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Visa & Commerce team up with soccer stars to teach financial literacy to high schoolers.

On Friday, October 20th, Visa and Commerce Bank hit the virtual pitch with former soccer stars Taylor Twellman and Lori Chalupny and local high school students at an event at McCluer High School in Florissant, MO featuring Visa’s Financial Soccer game. Financial Soccer is an engaging, fast-paced video game that puts student’s fiscal knowledge to the test in a game that combines the structure and rules of soccer with financial education questions of varying difficulty. Twellman and Chalupny coached two teams of high schoolers through the collaborative, competitive practical money skills game designed to get kids thinking about their own financial responsibilities and independence.

The teams answered questions to advance down the pitch for a chance to score a goal. Topics covered included budgeting, different ways to save — even cryptocurrency — and students raved about the experience.

“We got to be competitive like in soccer, and I learned a lot that I had no clue about,” said junior Addison Cambron. Senior Emmora Hightower added, “there were a lot of questions I thought I knew, that I got wrong! So it was a great learning experience. It was stuff we could take with us in everyday life.” Plus, they were both thrilled to meet their first celebrities.

It’s never too early to start teaching financial literacy.

Financial soccer event sponsored by Commerce Bank and Visa

With only one in three adults estimated to have a basic understanding of financial concepts, Visa and Commerce understand the need to foster financial literacy early to ensure a stronger relationship with financial health through adulthood.

“Financial literacy is something we don’t talk about enough,” said Chalupny, a former defender who played for the U.S. Women’s National Team in the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2007™. A native St. Louisan who’s now raising her kids in St. Louis, Chalupny reflected that “in school we talk about algebra, but we need to connect those pieces to real life.” Volunteering is an important aspect of living here in St. Louis, she shared. “I hope the kids leave today with a little more confidence both in talking about some of the language and in their own abilities.”

Twellman is also a native St. Louisan and former U.S. Men’s National Team player. Twellman was excited to share some of what he’s learned throughout his life. He told the kids that his first job was mowing lawns for neighbors.

“When my dad saw how much money I was making, he pulled me aside and said, ‘for every dollar you make, pay yourself $.25 and save it because you’re going to need it for a rainy day.’ He imprinted that on my mind: you’re putting in the hard work, you should pay yourself first by putting money into savings.”

Thriving communities and thriving customers means a thriving business.

Financial soccer event sponsored by Commerce Bank and Visa

“Commerce is nearly 160 years old, and we’ve always done our best to focus on what matters most,” said Crystal Avery-Morris, president of community development at Commerce Bank, who also spoke at the event. “If we are able to teach young people basic financial literacy concepts, they’ll have a better opportunity to succeed in life. And if our customers and communities thrive, we’ll thrive.”

A goal of Visa’s Financial Soccer program is also to increase dialogue at home. “We hope the students learn basic money management skills, things that they can take back to their parents to facilitate conversations about how they can begin budgeting and understanding what it means to be financially secure, as a youth and as an adult,” said Avery-Morris.

Financial Soccer is part of Visa’s Practical Money Skills, the free, award-winning financial education program Visa launched in 1991. The program contains comprehensive money management resources and lesson plans tailored for use at home and in the classroom.

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