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Extension consumer economics team honored

URBANA, Ill. – Two University of Illinois Extension consumer economics educators were recognized by the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education for their innovative and impactful work in personal finance education. Sasha Grabenstetter, Bourbonnais, received the Outstanding Practitioner’s Forum Award and Camaya Wallace Bechard, Bloomington, received the Outstanding Symposium Poster Award during the association’s virtual symposium in November.

Sasha Grabenstetter
Grabenstetter currently serves the northeastern Illinois counties of Grundy, Kankakee and Will. Her programming focuses on financial well-being and helping consumers make good financial choices.

Grabenstetter has lent her expertise to successful Extension programs, including "Apple Seed: A Student Guide to Pro Bono Financial Planning," which she co-authored with Dottie Durband. She also helped to create "All My Money: Change for the Better," a train-the-trainer financial management program for persons working with limited-resource audiences. The program is designed so that agency staff, social workers, and educators can teach financial literacy topics, even if they do not personally have expertise in financial management.

Grabenstetter is a member of AFCPE’s Research to Practice Task Force. She previously served as chair for the AFCPE Symposium Task Force.

Camaya Wallace Bechard
Wallace Bechard provides leadership in financial management to individuals, families, and communities in Livingston, McLean, and Woodford counties. Working with local and state Extension staff, she delivers educational programs that focus on building skills and knowledge about money management and financial decision-making for all age groups.

Wallace Berchard’s interdisciplinary background, combining human development and family studies with sociology and social responsibility, gives her a valuable lifespan perspective on financial issues. Integrating this broad understanding with research-based information, she builds educational programs that promote positive financial behaviors at all life stages and encourage holistic views of the individuals and communities she serves daily.

In addition to the AFCPE, Wallace Bechard is a member of the National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences and the Illinois Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences.

WRITER: Nicole Stewart, Marketing and Communications, Illinois Extension

ABOUT EXTENSION: Illinois Extension leads public outreach for University of Illinois by translating research into action plans that allow Illinois families, businesses, and community leaders to solve problems, make informed decisions, and adapt to changes and opportunities.