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Oregon State Treasury Financial Empowerment Awards

Oregon State Treasury Financial Empowerment Awards

 Content Editor

Treasurer Read visited Parkrose Middle School on May 24 to congratulate the winner of the first ever Financial Empowerment Teacher of the Year Award, Ryan Ashlock, who launched a popular personal finance math class at the school. The ceremony in the library also was attended by Principal Annette Sweeney and students from the class who received Oregon College Savings Plan scholarships.


Across the state, unsung heroes are helping Oregonians to be better equipped to make financial choices and lead more secure lives.

The Oregon State Treasury Financial Empowerment Awards were created to celebrate champions who go the extra mile to promote financial literacy and financial inclusion.

“Oregon is stronger when more Oregonians are financially secure,” said State Treasurer Tobias Read. “I’m thrilled to recognize these standouts for their efforts in classrooms and communities to help more people safely navigate today’s financial landscape.”

Nominations will be accepted starting in November for the 2023 awards.


There are two categories for the awards: Financial Educator of the Year and Community Champion, given to an organization.

Nominees came from both sides of the Cascades, and showed that Oregonians are passionate about helping their neighbors by improving financial literacy, financial capability and financial inclusion.

The inaugural winners were announced as part of Treasury’s observance of Financial Literacy Month in April. Winners were selected by a subcommittee of the Financial Empowerment Advisory Team, which meets quarterly to amplify financial literacy and financial inclusion efforts statewide.

The awards are sponsored in partnership with the Oregon College Savings Plan, which helps Oregonians statewide save for job training and higher education costs – and reduces the need for student debt later.


image of Ryan Ashlock

Ryan Ashlock, a Parkrose Middle School math teacher, created and teaches a popular personal finance course in the state’s most diverse school district. This is his first recognition by any entity for his outstanding financial education efforts.

Ashlock will receive $1,500 and Parkrose Middle School will receive $500. In addition, students chosen at random at the school will share a total of $500 in scholarships from the Oregon College Savings Plan.

Parkrose Middle School Principal Annette Sweeney said the course is offering a huge benefit for the students and also their families in the largely low-income Northeast Portland neighborhood. At the school, 85 percent of the student population qualifies for free or reduced lunch.

“Ryan has taken on this new financial literacy course with enthusiasm and provided real life experiences for our students as they use math concepts and begin to think about financial options in the future,” Sweeney said.


image of OSCU building

Oregon State Credit Union, based in Corvallis and serving 24 Oregon counties, helped create a new workbook connecting mindful mental health and financial wellness as part of its comprehensive financial literacy outreach efforts through schools and numerous nonprofits.

“On behalf of our over 132,000 member-owners and community education partners, we are humbled to receive the inaugural Oregon State Treasury Financial Empowerment Community Champion Award,” said Richard S. Hein, President/CEO of Oregon State Credit Union. “We recognize that financial literacy is essential to financial equity and inclusion, and we will continue to provide financial education as a sustaining resource to our communities.”

The Financial Empowerment Community Champion organization receives $2,000, plus can “pay it forward” and select another financial empowerment-focused organization or effort to receive $500.

The credit union said it would donate $1,000 to Trillium Family Services, $1,000 to buy books for the Department of Correction’s financial education program, and $500 to the Willamette Education Service District.

Read the news release here.

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