Detroit Pistons partners with local nonprofit Zelle to improve financial literacy

DETROIT – Hoping to fill a financial literacy gap by working directly with young adults, the Detroit Pistons have partnered with Zelle to offer educational resources to encourage smart and safe banking practices.

Network and digital payment platform Zelle turned to the city of Detroit as part of its mission to help young people learn key financial concepts and principles that can help protect their money and identity in a world of online banking.

In partnership with EVERFI, Zelle has created a free digital course for high school students to learn the basics of banking and how to protect themselves against identity theft and fraud. The program, titled Money Moves: Modern Banking and Identity Protection, is available for teachers to offer their students. About 100,000 students are already taking the online course, according to Alexis Castorina, head of consumer education at Zelle.

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Click here to learn more about the Money Matters course.

Once the Detroit Pistons heard about the Money Matters course and Zelle’s work in financial education, the team wanted to get involved locally, Castorina said. The NBA team has been involved in advocating for financial literacy in the past.

“Financial education is the foundation of prosperity. We created two programs with the Pistons called ‘Invest in Yourself’ and ‘Protect What Matters’ to give the Detroit community information about how modern banking works,” Castorina said.

The Pistons have since partnered with Zelle to create videos “featuring Detroit Pistons players and their personal experiences with money management and digital banking security.” Players like Rodney McGruder and Isaiah Stewart star in Invest in Yourself videos, explaining what it means to them to invest in themselves and why it’s important.

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Together, the group’s goal is “to help the Detroit community invest in their financial future and learn how to protect themselves against fraud and scams.”

“Even the most knowledgeable person can be scammed,” Castorina said. “Education is essential to protect oneself. Working with the Pistons is a vital way for us to help increase financial literacy while providing community resources to help Detroit residents stay safe when sending and receiving money.

The Pistons and Zelle have also partnered with a local nonprofit to further fund Metro Detroit’s youth financial literacy programs. For every block made by a Detroit Pistons player during the 2021-22 season, a $25 donation was set aside for the nonprofit organization Junior Achievement of Southeastern Michigan.

On Friday, April 8, the Pistons and Zelle presented JA of Southeast Michigan with a check for $10,000 to help their financial literacy program. The non-profit organization works with children and teaches them the skills to “own their economic success, plan for their future, and make smart academic and economic choices.”

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Related: Experts warn against scammers on mobile payment apps

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