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Oregon State Treasury Financial Empowerment Awards

Oregon State Treasury Financial Empowerment Awards

 Content Editor

Joey Running, with students

West Albany High School Teacher Joey Running is the Oregon 2024 Financial Empowerment Educator of the Year.


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

Oregon Treasury’s Financial Empowerment Awards recognize standout educators and community champions for their efforts to help more people be prepared to navigate our complex financial system.

The awards are made possible through a collaboration with the Oregon College Savings Plan, which helps Oregon families save for higher education and job training.


The winners of the 2024 Oregon Financial Empowerment Awards are West Albany High School business teacher Joey Running and the nonprofit Portland-based Oregon Business Academy, which connects students from across the state with an intensive weeklong business training camp.

The winners were announced during the April 2 meeting of the Oregon Financial Empowerment Advisory Team, as part of Treasury’s observance of Financial Literacy Month. “In today’s society, financial literacy is a survival skill,” said Treasurer Read, the chair of the advisory team. “These financial empowerment heroes are helping Oregonians to develop tools to succeed -- and to know better what traps to avoid.”

Financial Empowerment Educator of the Year: Joey Running, a business educator at West Albany High School, who was recently named the 2024 teacher of the year by the National Business Educators Association, is a national leader when it comes to financial instruction. Her 10 nominations came from students, peers, a state nonprofit leader, and the director of the national Jump$tart Coalition for Financial Education.

“The greatest reward in education is being able to witness our students take lessons from the classroom and apply them in the "real" world,” Running said. “Helping to prepare students with workplace readiness and basic financial skills necessary to navigate their lives benefits them, their communities, and Oregon. I have been lucky to be a part of their journeys. “

Financial Empowerment Community Champion: Oregon Business Academy and its director, Anne Adler. The nonprofit organizes and stages a weeklong intensive business education and entrepreneurship camp, and fundraises for scholarships for low-income students.

“Oregon Business Academy invests in high school students to build and brighten their economic futures, as well as Oregon's,” Adler said. “We serve students from diverse backgrounds, recognizing that all our communities have a part to play in building a thriving state where companies and top talent want to reside.”

The Academy’s 2024 weeklong camp, Business Week, will be held at Oregon State University this summer.

Oregon Business Academy will receive $2,000, and as part of the “Pay It Forward” aspect of the award, it can designate a partner organization to receive an additional $500. That designee is Adelente Mujeres in Hillsboro.

Read the news release here.


Entries will be accepted beginning in November 2024 for the 2025 awards. Winners are selected by a subcommittee of the Financial Empowerment Advisory Team.

Financial Educator: This award recognizes educators and/or administrators who have gone above and beyond to make financial literacy education more widely available, more relevant, and/or more exciting to help students make smarter money decisions, now and in the future. Candidates must be a classroom teacher, educational assistant, librarian, or administrator at an accredited K-12 Oregon public, private, or charter school; school district; or Education Service District.

The honoree receives $1,500 and another $500 to their school. In addition, students at the school – chosen at random – share $500 in scholarships from the Oregon College Savings Plan.

Previous honorees:

2022 – Ryan Ashlock, Parkrose Middle School, Portland

2023 – Amy Fifth-Lince, Liberty High School, Hillsboro

Financial Empowerment Community Champion: An organization, association, business, or education enterprise that makes a positive difference when it comes to improving financial wellness and empowerment for Oregonians. The organization should be based in Oregon or have a significant presence here.

The champion organization receives $2,000, plus can “Pay It Forward” and designate another financial empowerment-focused organization or effort to receive $500.

Previous honorees:

2022 – Oregon State Credit Union, Corvallis (Pay it forward: Willamette Education Service District)

2023 – HomeSource at NeighborImpact, Redmond (Pay it forward: Latino Community Association, Central Oregon)


Questions about the awards or the nomination form? Please contact us at