project participants
LFI students in San Juan working on economic development project

LFI program earns innovative achievement award

By Wendy Frost
Director of Communications, College of Business

(Aug. 13, 2008)--For the second time, the UTSA College of Business has won the Bobby G. Bizzell Innovative Achievement Award from the Southwestern Business Deans' Association. The award was presented to the college's Latino Financial Issues (LFI) program last spring.

Promoting wealth and asset building among Latinos is the goal of the LFI program. The yearlong integrated academic and service-learning program exposes students in multidisciplinary fields to community economic development, financial literacy and entrepreneurship.

"This innovative program distinguishes us from other business schools," said Lisa Montoya, College of Business associate dean for undergraduate studies. "Through its unique complement of programming, LFI not only educates UTSA students about the economic plight of Hispanics in the United States, but also steps in and acts to make a difference in the community."

The program explores what it means to be out of the financial mainstream and how that affects the economy. According to recent studies, 50 percent of the Latino community operates outside the financial mainstream. "These individuals do not use banks, have a credit history or have a means to apply for mortgages or secured loan products," Montoya said.

Students participate in academic coursework as well as service-learning projects throughout the one-year program. The culmination is an internship with a community economic development organization.

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