Aug 23, 2019

NGPF Podcast: Trisha DeBacco discusses increasing access to financial education in the Webster School District (NY)

What started as a trickle of students in a few Personal Finance sections at her high school has turned into a deluge. Trisha DeBacco shares her story of how personal finance evolved from an elective to a graduation requirement in her school district. Learn about her board presentation and how she made it a "hands-on" experience as well as her FAVE activities when it comes to student engagement. Enjoy! 


  • 0:00~2:05 Introduction
  • 2:05~2:43 School community in Webster
  • 2:43~5:18 Transitioning from the corporate world to the classroom
  • 5:18~6:40 The new school year
  • 6:40~11:16 Quest to making personal finance a requirement
  • 11:16~15:20 Working with board members
  • 15:20~18:17 Why Trisha is passionate about personal finance 
  • 18:17~18:46 A word from NGPF
  • 18:46~21:53 Most exciting lessons to teach
  • 21:53~25:46 Using the Budget Challenge
  • 25:46~29:13 Favorite individual project
  • 29:13~33:35 Favorite group project 
  • 33:35~34:45 How financial literacy classes differ from other classes
  • 34:45~37:00 NGPF’s early days and the FinLit Community
  • 37:00~38:53 Conclusion 



  • “When you see the students in the grocery store or they come back to visit you and they say ‘you know that activity we did’ or ‘that class I took with you’ and say ‘I’m really doing well at managing my money now,’ those are the things that really are rewarding and gives you the feeling to keep going.”  

  • “Our financial literacy class is more about exposure and providing kids with skills and knowledge and not so much about testing and memorization. We don’t give tests. Our goal is that they increase their financial literacy.”


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 started interning at NGPF in 2014, and worked part-time through high school and college. With his knowledge growing alongside NGPF, he joined the team to work full-time after graduating from college in 2020. He is also the producer of the NGPF podcast. During his free time, he likes to try out coffees from different roasters across the world.

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