Girls Inc. and Voya Financial, Inc. announced today that Voya Foundation is awarding post-secondary education scholarships to teams of young girls who participated in the Voya-Girls Inc. Investment Challenge, a program that provides practical, hands-on investing experience to girls at Girls Inc. affiliates around the country.
Teams of girls, in the final cycle of the challenge from Houston and Washington, D.C., spent the past three years building and managing a virtual $50,000 diversified, real-time portfolio as part of an integrated investment and economic literacy curriculum. Because of their successful money-management skills, the gains they realized from their investment portfolios translate into real dollars for their continued education.
“We launched the Voya-Girls Inc. Investment Challenge to introduce girls to the basics of saving, investing and financial planning to empower a new generation of smart investors,” said Angela Harrell, head, Voya Foundation and Office of Corporate Responsibility. “At the end of the challenge, each team realized at least a 15 percent return on their portfolios. Given their outstanding results, the girls have clearly shown that they have acquired an understanding of stock markets and investing that they will have throughout their lives.”
The Need Is Real
A study commissioned by Voya Financial underscores the need to engage girls early on with financial literacy. The study, Retirement Revealed, indicates that women on average are significantly less prepared for retirement than men.
Financial literacy is key to the Girls Inc. mission. “The Voya-Girls Inc. Investment Challenge teaches girls about the importance of understanding how money and our economy works,” said Judy Vredenburgh, President and CEO, Girls Inc. “The challenge exposes girls to the fundamentals of investing, and through the experience we see them mature as investors, gain the confidence to take control of their finances, and then reap the rewards of their hard work. We are grateful to our partners at Voya for helping girls set the foundation for a financially independent future.”
Voya Foundation will award two-thirds of the investment gains in the portfolio to the girls with one-third going to the local Girls Inc. affiliate to support local programming.
About Girls Inc.
Girls Inc. inspires all girls to be strong, smart, and bold, providing more than 140,000 girls across the U.S. and Canada with life-changing experiences and solutions to the unique challenges girls face.
The Girls Inc. Experience consists of people, an environment, and programming that, together, empower girls to succeed. Trained staff and volunteers build lasting, mentoring relationships in girls-only spaces that are physically and emotionally safe and where girls find a sisterhood of support with shared drive, mutual respect, and high expectations. Hands-on, research-based programs provide girls with the skills and knowledge to set goals, overcome obstacles, and improve academic performance. Informed by girls and their families, Girls Inc. also works with policymakers to advocate for legislation and initiatives that increase opportunities for girls.
At Girls Inc., girls grow up healthy, educated, and independent. Join us at girlsinc.org.
About Voya Foundation
Voya Foundation’s mission is to improve the quality of life in communities where Voya Financial® operates and its employees and customers live. Voya Foundation provides grants and establishes signature partnerships in the areas of financial literacy and children’s education and fosters employee engagement to deepen our positive impact on the community. For more information, visitwww.voyafoundation.com.
About Voya Financial®
Voya Financial, Inc. (NYSE: VOYA), helps Americans plan, invest and protect their savings — to get ready to retire better. Serving the financial needs of approximately 13 million individual and institutional customers in the United States, Voya is a Fortune 500 company that had $11 billion in revenue in 2014. The company had $484 billion in total assets under management and administration as of June 30, 2015. With a clear mission to make a secure financial future possible — one person, one family, one institution at a time — Voya’s vision is to be America’s Retirement CompanyTM.
The company is equally committed to conducting business in a way that is socially, environmentally, economically and ethically responsible — Voya has been recognized as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies, by the Ethisphere Institute, and as one of the Top Green Companies in the U.S., by Newsweek magazine. For more information, visit voya.com or view the company’s 2014 annual report. Follow Voya Financial on Facebook and Twitter @Voya.
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