Unified voice needed to grow student financial literacy
MAKING $ENSE: Jim Hedemark, executive director of the Rhode Island Jump$tart Coalition, said that the best approach is to listen to what is best for each school based on what their needs are.
COURTESY R.I. JUMP$TART COALITION
By Lindsay Lorenz PBN Researcher
After nine years of organizing, advocating for and expanding financial-literacy initiatives in Rhode Island, Jim Hedemark will soon be leaving his post as the executive director of the Rhode Island Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy.
Hedemark, who has been with the organization since its very beginning, currently oversees Jump$tart’s day-to-day administration, development, budget management and a variety of other areas.
Although he’s made some great friends in Rhode Island, he’s anxious to be near his family and other friends back in the Pacific Northwest. In preparation for the transition, Hedemark has been residing in Washington for the last few months and commuting back to the Northeast when necessary.
He says he’ll be leaving the organization on good terms, although he’s not sure what’s next for him. His last day with the coalition will be May 5, the nine-year anniversary of its incorporation.
PBN: What inspired you to start a chapter of the Jump$tart Coalition in Rhode Island?
HEDEMARK: In 2002, 2003 I lived in Arizona. I was managing a campaign for Congress and I became friends with one of our opponents who was doing financial-literacy work for the Navajo Indian reservation. I just became fascinated with this idea of financial literacy. … Then, when I was visiting Rhode Island, a friend introduced me to Frank Caprio, who was a state senator at the time, and we had a discussion about emerging policies. I returned to Phoenix, and he called me and asked me if I might look into [financial literacy] a little more, and I found that there was no chapter of the national Jump$tart Coalition in Rhode Island, and I said I’d give it a shot.