"It's no secret that we're all dealing with a variety of economic challenges, but no group faces more daunting economic trials -- or will be confronting these issues for longer periods -- than members of what has come to be known as the millennial generation. Surveys find that they're already deeply concerned about the nation's financial situation and about their own current economic situations. But, given the inevitability of changes that will lower the safety nets provided by Social Security and other government-sponsored retirement programs, it is absolutely essential that millennials begin thinking about retirement planning much earlier than was the case for other generations. That's why iOme is so important, so valuable. And that's why I'm so pleased to be associated with it."
Martin Merzer President at Martin Merzer Creative Services Inc.
Pulitzer Prize Winner & Former Senior Writer at The Miami Herald
"I am honored to be involved in iOme where you see students taking hold of their financial future and offer sound ideas for our country to move forward in economic prosperity. The most important thing we can do is empower this next generation of leaders and that empowerment is exactly what iOme proudly provides!"
Laura Schwartz The White House Director of Events, Clinton Administration
Speaker and Author of Eat, Drink & Succeed!
"I coached them; taught them; raised two and, feel partially responsible for the financial mess my Millennials are in. Instead of another trophy or a pat on the back, I work with iOme. (Did I mention we're looking for additional sponsors to carry our message to the 80 Million Millennial Market?)"
Michael Bina Managing Director
Intellectual Marketing, LLC
“Participating in the first iOme Challenge was fantastic. Our team won in 2009; the experience of pitching our ideas to our members of Congress was unique - and the money wasn’t bad! - but I think the most rewarding part of the Challenge was working through a tough policy problem with a team of my peers. I’d recommend submitting an entry to any team or individual who’s interested!”
Brad Kent Winner, inaugural iOme Challenge & Graduate Student/Teaching Assistant
"Entering the iOme Challenge is a great way for Millennials to understand and engage with one of the most challenging policy questions facing our nation: how to ensure their generation’s economic security in retirement. If Millennials, who have the most to lose, aren’t part of this societal discussion, they will lose the most."
James Choi, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Finance
“I love this contest! We will be doing this for a third year this year. I’ve been waiting the whole year for this. I can also add that this contest has had a tremendous impact upon our LaGrange College students. The team from the first year of competition has gone to do great things. Most are in graduate school or in good jobs, and just about all of them said that much of their interview focused on the iOme competition…employers, graduate schools, law schools, etc. all wanted to know about this competition and what we did. One said it took up 45 minutes of the 60 minute interview (and yes, he got the job). For those students still here, I can point to at least five students across two classes where the project and the work and excitement from this probably kept the student from dropping out or even flunking out. Many in other classes, in all different areas of study (education, sciences, nursing, business, history, sociology, etc.) bring up the projects when I see them across campus, and what a big deal it was to them.”
John Tures, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Political Science
“The iOme Challenge presents a great opportunity for anyone. It’s hard to pass up a competition where the winning team receives a free trip to Washington, DC, an attractive cash prize, and the ability to network with some powerful individuals that play a significant role in shaping our financial future. Go for it!”
Shaun Pfeiffer Winner, 2010-2011 Challenge
Division of Personal Financial Planning
Texas Tech University
“I am involved with iOme because I want to help young people to better understand how to provide for their own futures. College students face perhaps the most difficult financial environment in generations, and most of the pressures they feel are quite immediate - paying for college, finding a job, buying a car, looking toward starting a family. Lifelong financial security seems to many to be a just a dream. But there are things that young people can do right now that will have profoundly positive impacts that will last into retirement. It’s important for those of us with more life experience and financial knowledge to help them see a better path.”
Kevin Quinn, Ph. D. Associate Academic Dean
Professor of Economics
St. Norbert College
“The iOme Challenge is a great example of how college students can learn to take their financial future in their own hands. Programs such as this and working with others, including librarians, student affairs, financial aid and other professionals on our college campuses, provide the tools and resources to help how students become more financially literate.”
Trevor Dawes President of the Association of College and Research Libraries
Associate University Librarian, Washington University in St. Louis
“For me, iOme Challenge is a meaningful organization of significant importance, not only in a contemporary context but also pertinent to the future of the world we live in. Our society has seemingly become too distant, relaxed and reliant on fiscal and monetary politics to realize that this naïve and misleading sense of comfort has the potential to result in a devastating outcome on our lives and those of generations to come. I am thrilled to be part of this organization and to help this cause and truly believe that we Millennials are prepared, willing and able to make a difference.”
Kevin Strack Intern, Autumn 2011
“Participating in the iOme Challenge has been a great experience. I really enjoyed getting together with my fellow classmates to discuss these very relevant and timely issues as we crafted our solutions. Making the video was also much more fun than I had imagined! It provided a much needed break from our coursework and allowed us to use our creativity in a new way. The rewards for winning were absolutely incredible! Not only is a cash prize a pleasant surprise, the trip to DC was full of experiences to remember for a lifetime. We met with policymakers who discuss these issues on a regular basis, and they listened intently to what we had to say. I was able to more fully appreciate the impact that we, as concerned and engaged young adults, can have on the financial outlook of our generation.”
Benjamin Cummings, Ph.D. Winner, 2010-2011 Challenge
Erivan K. Haub School of Business
Saint Joseph's University
“Participating in the iOme Challenge gave me the opportunity to write and speak on a topic which is near and dear to my heart – financial literacy and education. The essay and video, combined with the trip to our nation’s capitol to speak with policymakers, allowed me to openly voice my concerns and opinions about my generation’s preparedness for its future and retirement. It also made me realize my burning desire to become a leader and educator for my generation, as well as the next. As a result, I am now seeking avenues to place myself directly in front of students and adults alike in order to discuss the multifaceted world of personal finance.”
Allison Perdue Winner, 2011-2012 Challenge
Program Manager, iOme Challenge
Financial Planning Associate at The Kelly Group
“The iOme Challenge sheds light on the retirement issues that are certain to burden young individuals. It calls young adults to not only recognize these issues but also take ownership of them in a pursuit of feasible solutions. Being involved in the challenge allowed me the opportunity to gain access to some of the most influential individuals involved in retirement planning research and the development of future retirement policy. It has broadened my perspective as an academic and pushed me to continually seek simple and effective solutions to a problem that affects virtually every person in virtually every phase of their financial lifecycle.”
Chris Browning Winner, 2010-2011 Challenge
Division of Personal Financial Planning
Texas Tech University
“It is no longer about partisan interests or what once was--those interests haven’t brought much good and what worked years ago, doesn’t anymore. Now, it is about us--the young people of today--who want and deserve a great future, individually and as a generation. We should not and will not stand for being told that a bleak future is ahead of us. Isn’t something fundamentally wrong with that statement? Instead, we OWE it to us to understand the issues, talk about them and then create innovative solutions--and act on them today--so that we make sure that the best is yet to come. Because our future matters.”
Adi Redzic Executive Director