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Investor Protection



Department of

Financial Institutions

Molly Blume


Audrey Hue

Alice Jenkins

Leslie Lum

Thanks to Don Blandin and Cheri Meyer of IPT, Scott Kinney (who truly believed in us), Lyn Peters, Jeremy Lushene, Mike Stevenson, and Scott Jarvis of DFI; Florence Katz, Carolyn Trapp and Zone Montoya of the City of Seattle; Dana Twight and Elizabeth Duffell of the Seattle Times Newspaper in Education; Cheryl Reed and the rest of the team at AARP; Amy O’Donnell, Tina Archuletta, and Kimberley Scott of WSCPA; and Representative Sharon Tomiko-Santos.

The Need

  • Tuition increases at 7% per year and places more financial burden on families.

  • 16% of college students drop out because of finances as compared to 4% who drop out because of academics according to the US Department of Education 1996/8 Longitudinal Study.

  • On average students leave college with $20,000 in debt, double what it was a decade ago according to the Project on Student Debt.

  • Students double their credit card debt and triple their number of credit cards from the time they start college to the time they finish according to Nellie Mae's study of Undergraduate Students and Credit Cards. Less than 25% of students pay off their credit card balance every month and 33% have balances of over $2000.

Funded by Investor Protection Trust, Financial Education at BCC started in January 2007 with a commendation from Governor Chris Gregoire on BCC’s achievement and partnerships with the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) and the Washington Financial Literacy Public-Private Partnership (FLPP) to offer what is being called a model for community colleges across the nation.  

Financial Education at BC's programs, events and activities have reached over 6000 people throughout the state of Washington along with a Seattle Times insert that reached 220,000 both in November 2007 and September 2008. We have developed an extensive set of curriculum which is about to be published by the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions. The grant officially ended January 1, 2009 although we continue to do community training and offer our courses online.



Get Smart About Your Money

If you are interested in having training at your school or organization




Seattle Times 

Seattle Times Newspapers in Education publishes 16-page insert with Financial Education at BCC curriculum for college students, reaching 220,000 in the Puget Sound area on November 7, 2007. This incredible trove of great tips for college students to manage their money was well received by both students and parents. Thanks to the DFI for making this possible and our partners WSCPA and JumpStart WA. 

Response was so strong that the insert was republished on September 9, 2008 in time for the start of school for high school and college students. Another 220,000 inserts made their way to readers of the Seattle Times plus Washington Credit Unions and other groups will be distributing over 50,000 additional copies!!

For a copy of Nov. 7, 2007 insert, click here

Thank you from the Seattle Times.



Writing team


Leslie Lum, Molly Blume and Alice Jenkins worked furiously (24/7) to write the open access curriculum for our financial education effort. In may, they were joined by Margie Biliske, who brings valuable CPA experience to the team, and Helen Lawrence who contributed astute copyediting.

Along with our team, several ESL/ABE instructors (many of whom have extensive experience in business) have created custom activities from the curriculum for their students.

Curriculum has been tested on BCC students to high reviews and four online courses are offered at BCC so that citizens across the state of Washington can learn about money management, saving, credit and investments from the comfort of their homes.

This curriculum which is copyrighted by the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions is available to educators to use free of charge as long as no gain is accrued from its use. 

For information on the curriculum, click here



Audrey Scott

Audrey Hue (pictured above with Scott Kinney Financial Education Manager of WaMu) conducted 4 training sessions for over 150 employees of WaMu in August 2008.

WaMu Class

Click for a copy of the money management presentation and handout.

Click for a copy of the credit presentation and handout.

City of Seattle Class


Fall 2008 brought another set of the successful financial education series for employees at the City of Seattle. Seven sessions on money management, investments and credit were offered again to great reviews.

Click here for investment presentation and handout.


On September 12, October 3, and October 30, 2007, Financial Education at BCC and the City of Seattle partnered for a trailblazing series of 9 employee training sessions on financial education. Classes were fully registered in the two days with waiting lists for each of the three sessions on September 12. High demand continued through the next two days. In total we worked with enthusiastic groups of about 400 awesome City of Seattle employees in interactive sessions to learn about money management, investments and credit.

Thanks to the forward-thinking employee benefits department including Florence Katz, Carolyn Trapp and Zone Montoya for their tremendous help in mounting these sessions.

For copies of investment slides, click here.

For copies of money management slides, click here.

For copies of credit slides, click here

 Alice Jenkins, Molly Blume and Margie Biliske at City of Seattle

Alice Jenkins, Molly Blume and Margie Biliske compare notes as trainers for the City of Seattle

City of Seattle Class

City of Seattle employees were receptive to Financial Education.


Leslie Lum talks to a packed room of over 80 people on March 17, 2007 at "Tips on managing your money, creating wealth and securing your retirement," cosponsored by the Organization of Chinese Americans, State Farm, the Japanese American Citizens' League, the National Association of Asian American Professionals, the Department of Financial Institutions and Financial Education at BCC. Certified Public Accountant, Jean Chou was on hand to talk about the tax consequences of investing and made available 15 minutes free tax consulting to all those who attended.

For a copy of the presentation, click here.











March to June 2007 - Over 1000 people attended the “Invest Wise Washington” events in Spokane, Kennewick, Lynnwood and Vancouver where Leslie Lum made the presentation on Six Steps to Intelligent Investing.

Working with the professionals of the AARP and DFI provided an excellent training ground for Financial Education at BCC to kick-off its own social marketing campaigns. As a result, the college campaigns were professional and well-organized.

 For a copy of Leslie's AARP presentation, click here.


Molly Blume, Pastor Hicks, Leslie Lum and Alice Jenkins at the successful first session of a series on getting smart about money on January 25, 2007. About 25 people attended a session on investing where they had a chance to preview an upcoming broadcast of Money Track, the PBS series and discuss six steps to successful investing.

Financial Education at BCC was happy to be presenting to such a gracious audience and looks forward to the monthly series which will run until June. Many thanks to Pastor Hicks, who reinforced our message with his closing remarks and, to our delight, is an alumni of BCC.


Train-the-trainer sessions have been conducted at BCC with 27 faculty and staff. About 20 instructors were trained at Tacoma Community College. Training sessions have been conducted with Green River and South Seattle as well as with 11 WorkSource counselors.

Treasury logo


Alice Jenkins facilitated a session on youth at the Northwest Regional Conference on Reaching Unbanked People on March 28, 2007 in Seattle. The conference was attended by over 250 financial enterprises (with keynote Washington Mutual CEO Kerry Killinger) and people who work with low-income and immigrant populations representing a true public-private partnership to stop the high fees that low-income and immigrant folks face with lack of financial education and fringe financial services.

Leslie Lum convened a roundtable with the Asian community on March 28, 2007 at the request of Deputy Assistant Secretary for Financial Education Dan Iannicola, Jr. US Department of Treasury. This was the first roundtable with the Asian community that the Treasury department has convened and valuable information was given about cultural sensitivity in assisting populations (e.g. taboos about talking about death, the protection of younger generation, religious objection to earning interest, etc.) with the financial future. It was also brought out that there is significant isolation because of limited English language and the lack of translation of educational materials. The Treasury department plans to incorporate these issues into a national report that will be disseminated throughout the country.

Leslie Lum provided further consulting with the Treasury Department on college financial education in January 2008. 


November 2006 -  Approximately 50 people attended a 90-minute session on Personal Investing in an Uncertain Future with Leslie Lum. Participants found the training very helpful to their personal circumstances.


Last updated:July 29, 2009


Bellevue College has incorporated financial education into its First Year Experience. All first year students at Bellevue participate in two days of learning how to succeed. Of the breakout sessions, financial education proved to be popular with close to 90 students engaged in a game that experientially teaches students the cost and consequences of spending on wants.



Financial Education at BCC, the Washington Society of CPAs, and the Department of Financial Institutions launched a state-wide college financial education campaign in November 2007 that reached 700 students at Washington State University, Eastern Washington University, University of Washington (Tacoma and Bothell), Highline Community College, Tacoma Community College, Everett Community College, Shoreline Community College, Spokane Community College and Pacific Lutheran University.

Another college campaign was mounted in April 2008 in honor of financial literacy month where an additional 600 students were reached.

These campaigns proved that with the expert assistance of the communications people at DFI, we are able to mount a social marketing campaign that strikes at the heart of the issue of financial security for all the citizens of Washington state. For more information on how to mount such a campaign at your college, check out:


Spokane Community College: November 2007 - Diana Osborne presents to 70 students on investing as part of a statewide campaign for college financial education. Diana has also created an investing class and incorporated personal finance into her economics class. Butch Rich at Spokane Community College integrated financial education into his classes and also presented to high school students in the community.


Highline Community College: November 2007 - Anthony Newton packs 100 students to the kickoff of a weeklong series on investing. Students are enthusiastic and attentive.


Bellevue Community College: November 2007 - Margie Biliske, Alice Jenkins and Molly Blume present to students on investing and money management. Over 250 students attended the event where 600 copies of the Seattle Times was given to BCC students and employees. Thanks to WaMu, Key Bank and BECU for their participation.


Tacoma Community College; November 2007 - Leslie Lum presents to 30 students as part of the statewide campaign. Thanks to BECU and WSECU for their participation.

FYE Class

September 2007 BCC First Year Experience incorporates session on financial education. Additional sessions were held with HD classes in October bringing the total to 80 students. BCC found that the first year experience is an excellent venue and will be reaching 250 students in September 2008.

January 2007 - Financial Education at BCC Kickoff draws over 500 students and community members. Thanks to Wells Fargo, Bank of America, BECU, the AG, and DFI for their participation.


Fourteen community college and university instructors have been recruited from Tacoma, Highline, Everett, Green River, Spokane, Skagit, Columbia Basin and Heritage University.

Tacoma Community College counselors David Howard, James Mendoza, Jennifer LeMay and Theo Mungen (pictured above) have been extremely successful in enlisting all TCC's Human Development instructors to incorporate money management, investing or fraud prevention in their Human Development courses. They reached 700 students in fall 2007 and will reach an additional 400 students by the end of this academic year.

Bill Reed of Everett conducted a group on November-6th   2007 at the Marysville YMCA and spoke to about 40 students in the Minority Achievers Program and to about 30 students at Jackson High School in the Everett School District accounting class on November-7th 2007. He has already convinced a local high school to incorporate financial education into its curriculum.

Jeff Perlot and Tim Henry reached over 200 learners at Green River Community College including student government, ESOL classes and the community.

Instructors across the state have shown that community colleges have the base to become the social marketing loci for any number of issues that may concern our society.


Martin Cordell, Chief of Enforcement (left) with Scott Kinney (right) Director of Communication with Alicia Haus.

The DFI has been a tremendous partner in helping Financial Education at BCC make a quantum leap in achieving our mission.

The considerable expertise and resources of the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions has been a huge boost to the rapid-speed start-up of Financial Education at BCC. In particular, Scott Kinney, former Director of Communications has been incredibly generous with his advice and counsel on how to plan and execute huge and effective events, deal with the media and communicate our message including the creating great brand "Get Smart about Your Money"  and the series of fabulous posters that speak directly to the target audience. Lyn Peters has been ably filling the huge shoes that Scott left behind. Thanks for Jeremy Lushene who does incredible websites and worked long and hard to get the promotional materials out for the college campaign.

Financial Education at BCC events have been over-subscribed with packed rooms. Participant evaluations have been high. The DFI has consistently included us in partnerships and collaborative efforts that put us in contact with the AARP, numerous credit unions and financial institutions across the state, JumpStart Washington and the Treasury department.  


On January 19, 2007, about 500 students, BCC employees and people from the community attended the events around the kickoff of the Financial Education at BCC including over 100 students who packed a panel discussion with Don Blandin and Carmen Aguiar moderated by Bryan Imanishi and Ronnie Fontenot. The Washington State of Financial Institutions and the Investor Protection Trust who sponsored the festivities and did so much to publicize it through print and radio ads. In the packed forum on savings and investing survival skills, Don Blandin and Carmen Aguiar shared how they started  from modest backgrounds and in families who were not knowledgeable about investing. They gave extremely helpful hints on how to establish good financial behaviors from the start.

Through the important partnership with Investor Protection Trust, BCC has had access to a national network of financial education experts and resources.

Immediately following this, BECU gave a presentation on how to manage credit. Throughout the two and a half hour event, students streamed to the booths provided by Bank of America, Wells Fargo, BECU, Puget Sound Better Investing, the Attorney General's office, the Department of Financial Institutions, and the Washington Society of CPAs where they were able to gather financial educational material.

Thanks to the Washington Department of Financial Institutions and the incredible Scott Kinney whose passion and and formidable project management skills made this phenomenal event possible. DFI designed and provided the great t-shirts, the eye-catching print ads, scripted the radio ads, and provided a comprehensive media kit. They brought us to another level with their professionalism. Thanks to Don Blandin for his big hairy audacious goals and to the IPT for the 400 cookies that were enjoyed by participants. Thanks to Carmen Aguiar for her generosity with her time and her incredible heart.

For more on the kickoff, click here.



The Center for Financial Education at Bellevue Community College has participated in the Financial Literacy Public Private Partnership (FLPPP) for the past three years. This partnership has the mission of spreading financial literacy in Washington state with initial efforts targeted at the K-12 system. Leslie Lum has spoken to key legislators as a financial education expert. FLPPP has already provided teaching training throughout the state and working on a mandate for including it in K-12 standards and assessments.

Participation in this partnership has given Financial Education at BCC the chance to work with experts at the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction and understand K-12 EALRs (learning standards) and assessments. Leslie Lum participated in the Education Committee which came up with a plan to hold regular summer institutes to teach power K-12 financial education teachers.

 We have had the pleasure of working with influential legislators Representative Sharon Tomiko-Santos, who is a huge champion of financial education for all the citizens of Washington state.

The  Financial Literacy Public Private Partnership's website is at: