Sonia Anderson 2018 Financial Education Instructor of the Year
Each year the National Financial Educators Council honors an outstanding financial educator by presenting him or her with the coveted Financial Education Instructor of the Year Award. The 2018 recipient is Sonia Anderson, whose history in finance, debt management, promoting financial literacy, and empowering people through financial education make her a strong match for the NFEC’s award criteria.
The NFEC Financial Education Instructor of the Year award is set aside to recognize a single individual who has made markedly significant contributions to promoting financial wellness over the previous year. The NFEC contends that educators are the single most important influence on participant success; that’s why the council created this award to recognize distinguished financial education instructors for their contributions.
Sonia, who overcame significant financial challenges as a child, has dedicated her career to helping others achieve financial wellness. In 2009 she and her son founded Andson, Inc., a nonprofit that spreads financial literacy programming, banking, and academic intervention to students and their families. The innovative programs Sonia has developed target youth and young adults, with emphasis on personal success and social mobility.
“Sonia exemplifies the stellar characteristics represented by the Financial Education Instructor of the Year award. She has leveraged her business acumen to build a scalable financial education program that can continue to help people,” commented Vince Shorb, CEO of the NFEC. “She is an innovative leader in financial education. Sonia’s new projects, currently in production, will open up banking and financial education opportunities to individuals who would not have had access if not for her efforts.”
Her efforts continue today as CEO of Andson, Inc., a not-for-profit organization that Sonia and her son founded in late 2009. Andson, Inc. was created with a single profound vision – to empower people through education. With its year-round financial literacy curriculum, weekly banking module, and afterschool supplemental programs, Andson has become the fastest-growing educational nonprofit in Southern Nevada. Andson currently operates at more than 40 locations and has served approximately 68,000 students and their families since inception.
Andson is a non-profit Educational Organization, offering 3 programs: Andson Academics (homework help and tutoring program), Andson Money (financial literacy in-class lessons) and the Piggy Bank Program. The Piggy Bank Program works in tandem with the Andson Money program, providing real live banks within the schools. To reach those most in need, Andson goes to where the kids are: schools, libraries, and clubs.
Andson Money provides a series of in-class financial literacy lessons to students K – 12. Young adults facing life-changing choices need a knowledge base and realistic guidelines to make wise financial decisions. For many of our kids, this is the first time they have been exposed to the concept of budgeting, and we are finding that they are taking these lessons home to their parents. The Andson Money program addresses these crucial issues, and we believe in making social mobility something that is possible for even the most disadvantaged youth in our community.
Research has demonstrated the significant impact educators make on successful student learning. Distinguished financial education instructors are not merely dispensers of knowledge; they are learning facilitators who can mold and modify participants’ behavior and guide them toward financial wellness. Sonia Anderson has molded young minds to adopt positive financial behaviors and make a lasting difference in their lives. The NFEC is honored to present her with the 2018 Financial Education Instructor of the Year Award.