NGPF Podcast: Three RI High School Students On Advocating for Financial Education

Jul 30, 2021
Podcasts, Advocacy


n this special NGPF Podcast, Yanely interviews three high schoolers from Rhode Island: Lila Somvanshi, Matthew Tactacan & Penelope Tejada. They discuss why they are so passionate about financial education which led them to testify in favor of a bill that would increase access to this essential course. Enjoy hearing from these passionate advocates.  


  • 0:00~1:07 Introduction
  • 1:07~5:16 The three students’ backgrounds
  • 5:16~10:45 The value of personal finance education in the 21st century
  • 10:45~15:57 The process of advocating for increased access to personal finance education
  • 15:57~16:45 A word from NGPF
  • 16:45~26:00 Experience testifying in Rhode Island
  • 26:00~36:24 Impact of HB5491 for future students
  • 36:24~44:42 Making student voices count
  • 44:42~45:50 Conclusion



  • "Being an advocate is something everyone should do, whether it be in their own little way or something big, everybody can make a difference." -Penelope Tejada

  • “What I think it means to be an advocate is to have the courage to stand up for something you really believe in and try to use yourself as a platform to help change other people's lives for the better." - Matthew Tatacan

  • "Financial education classes help me mature more in my life than any other class or activity." -Lila Somvanshi

About the Authors

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.

Ren Makino

Ren has been working part-time at NGPF since 2014, interning through high school and college. With his knowledge growing alongside NGPF, after graduating from college in 2020, he joined the team to work full time with a focus on teacher onboarding. He is also the editor of the NGPF podcast and makes sure it is accessible to teachers on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play Music. During his free time, he likes to try out coffees from different roasters across the world and try out new brewing methods, even though personal finance gurus tend to caution against buying a cup of joe.