Arrowhead Center, Student Success Center celebrate gifts supporting entrepreneurship, financial skills
DATE: October 9, 2023
New Mexico State University (NMSU) officials will hold a ribbon cutting on Wednesday for two financial technology spaces made possible by a $3 million gift from Nusenda Credit Union. Both the FinTech Lab at Arrowhead Center and the Center for Financial Capability in the Student Success Center and Campus Tutoring Services received $1.5 million for innovation and financial literacy spaces, first awarded in 2021.
“These projects provide financial knowledge, preparation and enhancement to NMSU students to build confidence and success in managing their financial security,” said Dr. Tony Marin, NMSU’s Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs. “The Center for Financial Capability provides a major boost to our students – and in true Nusenda fashion, solidifies a bond with the community and ensures the future of our financial security.”
Nusenda contributed a total of $3 million to the NMSU Foundation for these projects, with $1.5 million earmarked for each center, paid at $150,000 per year beginning in 2021. With a dependable flow of resources annually, NMSU can make ongoing plans to sponsor financial literacy activities, provide peer-to-peer financial literacy consulting, host a distinguished lecture series, run a financial literacy social media campaign, and create other services that strengthen the financial capability of students.
“Building on our longstanding ties to the Borderplex region, our goal is to create an innovative partnership that is tailored to the unique needs of this community. The Nusenda Center for Financial Capability provides students and others with access to educational resources, financial planning tools, and the coaching to help them establish financial security and reach their financial goals,” said Nusenda President and CEO Joe Christian ’84, an NMSU alum. “The FinTech lab's resources, mentors, and collaborative environment are here to help students and entrepreneurs in the region access the workspace, mentoring, and support they need to bring their ideas to life and make a real impact in their communities.”
“Fintech” refers to technology-driven innovations, computer programs, and other technology that support or enable banking and financial services. Among the fastest-growing areas for venture capitalists, fintech helps businesses and consumers better manage their financial processes and personal finances.
The Nusenda FinTech Lab at Arrowhead Center seeks to become a center of financial technological innovations in the Southwest region. It offers valuable early-stage resources to help start-ups reduce capital requirements while the foundations of their ventures mature.
“The Lab looks forward to being the central point of financial technology innovations in the Southwest,” said Carlos Cuesta, Program Director for the Nusenda FinTech Lab at Arrowhead Center. “Merging ideas with the FinTech Lab resources is the first step towards enhancing social mobility and financial inclusion in our community.”
The lab assists entrepreneurs in turning their ideas into tangible assets they can bring into the world to transform business. By joining the program, applicants get access to all FinTech Lab resources free of charge, including computing systems and software applications, developers, professional advisors to assist with a start-up, a workspace, and funding opportunities for ventures.
In addition, a workshop series is underway to provide further insight into such areas as cryptocurrency, while a speaker series features experts on “Seizing the Opportunity” and “Opportunities for All.” A pitch competition in the spring semester will give start-ups the chance to present their business models, growth plans and technology solutions to industry leaders and venture capitalists.
The Nusenda Center for Financial Capability is a financial outreach and educational program administered by NMSU and sponsored by Nusenda Credit Union as a partnership in education. The center is devoted to assisting NMSU students on their journey toward becoming knowledgeable and confident in both personal and business finances.
Located in Campus Tutoring Services in Corbett Center Student Union and the Student Success Center in Hardman Jacobs Undergraduate Learning Center on the NMSU main campus, the NCFC provides a comprehensive financial wellness program for students, in-person or online. Confidential peer coaching is available to help them learn and understand how to manage their finances to avoid financial barriers that may prevent them from completing their degree.
“Nusenda’s investment in NMSU demonstrates a commitment to our students’ success and to building a stronger community, and we are grateful for the opportunity to realize our shared vision,” said Dr. Sylvia Y. Acosta, Chief Executive Officer, NMSU Foundation. “These programs will have a wide-reaching impact on education, research and community engagement, the benefit of which will be felt by everyone for many years to come.”
NCFC peer staff members are graduates of the National Financial Educators Council’s financial literacy certification program and are Certified Financial Education Instructors. Each peer staff member completes 80 hours of training to help them assist their fellow Aggies in becoming better positioned to counsel students in financial literacy.
“With dependable contributions from Nusenda for the next decade, NMSU can give our students and entrepreneurs the help they need to become resilient, innovative and successful,” Marin concluded.