Part 1: WESST and NDI New Mexico Partner to Bring Financial Literacy Training to Teens

By Zoe Otero-Martinez | April 19, 2016

Working with teens is one of the many highlights of my work as a financial literacy trainer.  At WESST, 2016 promises to be another amazing year as we continue to provide financial literacy training to teens and adults, and I am very excited about a pilot that we here at WESST recently launched with National Dance Institute of New Mexico (NDI).

The commitment NDI and WESST have to New Mexico, nurturing clients and students alike as they engage in our programs made this pilot opportunity a clear and powerful collaborative possibility. Launched in March 2016, the pilot features seven sessions that will be delivered to ten students (ages 13-18) who have been engaged at NDI for years.  All sessions will be delivered at the NDI Albuquerque Hiland Theater.  Students in the pilot will be introduced to concepts that will help them understand how to manage their money, plan their future and make their money grow.  NDI’s commitment to the development of their students and WESST’s commitment to economic empowerment make this a collaboration of strength, helping these young people develop skills that will carry over into every aspect of their lives.

During the first two sessions these teens amazed me by asking such thoughtful questions about money, credit, debt and planning. I love to watch their minds work as they reflect on their lives to this point and how they have learned about money from their family and friends and then see them immediately apply what they are learning as they plan their own futures. I always ask during the first session what the students want to learn more about and these young people never fail to bring up topics that they are curious about that will no doubt help them have a strong basic personal financial foundation. Our teens want to learn about credit, debt, investing and how to properly keep records. They are curious, smart, amazing and they are the future. This pilot has promise beyond measure and I am so excited to be part of it. 

Thank you to the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Library (ABC Library) and FINR.  This is the last group of students that qualify through this current partnership. WESST and NDI look forward to new funding possibilities and partnerships for this program.

About the Author


Zoe Otero-Martinez

Zoe is passionate about New Mexico and enjoys working on programs that build community and contribute to economic development.  For the past 2 years, Zoe has managed the IDA program for WESST, training over 200 people on personal financial literacy topics and assisting over 150 of those participants with asset purchases.   With  a background in financial literacy program management, marketing and fundraising, Zoe is excited about the future of programming at WESST.  Zoe is a Certified Financial Education Instructor (CFEI) through the National Financial Educators Council.

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