short banner

(SIFE) Team Selected to Compete in the TIAA-CREF Financially Empowering Gen Y Challenge

Release Date:  Monday, April 09, 2012

University of Charleston SIFE Students to Help Gen Y Take Charge of Their Finances

CHARLESTON, W.Va.  – University of Charleston’s SIFE team has been selected to participate in this year’s TIAA-CREF Financially Empowering Gen Y Project Partnership. Through the challenge, the SIFE team, comprised of 36 UC students will create and implement financial education programs for members of Generation Y, typically considered those who were born in the 1980s and now range from age 18 to 32.  

“As a nation, we need to do a better job of promoting financial literacy, especially among future generations – and who better to do that than their peers,” said Teresa Hassara, Senior Managing Director and Head of Institutional Client Services at TIAA-CREF. “We are excited to see the many creative ideas and financial education programs that will emerge from this challenge and to witness this next generation of leaders take the reins in this important educational area.”  

This is the first year for the TIAA-CREF Financially Empowering Gen Y Project Partnership. Through the challenge, SIFE teams from across the United States will develop creative, sustainable programs that encourage Gen Y to take control of their financial well-being. UC SIFE is among 25 competing teams tasked with combining basic economic concepts with an entrepreneurial approach to increase their peers’ financial aptitude in fun and innovative ways.  

“The UC SIFE team is very grateful to TIAA-CREF for providing us the opportunity to participate in this partnership,” said Briana Cicero-Johns, Sam Walton Fellow (faculty advisor) for UC SIFE. “This course has allowed our team members work with local CPA Shehna Khan to teach very important aspects of person fiscal responsibility to UC students, faculty and staff, as well as the greater Charleston community.” 

All 25 teams will compete for additional grand prizes. The winning SIFE teams will be announced in May during the SIFE USA National Expo, taking place in Kansas City, MO. All top finalists will receive additional cash awards to continue the important work initiated through this project.

About SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise)

SIFE is an international non-profit organization that works with leaders in business and higher education to mobilize university students to make a difference in their communities while developing the skills to become socially responsible business leaders. SIFE teams are active on more than 1,600 campuses of academic institutions in 39 countries. 

About TIAA-CREF (Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America)

TIAA-CREF ( is a national financial services organization with $464 billion in assets under management (as of 12/31/11) and is the leading provider of retirement services in the academic, research, medical and cultural fields.