Recognizing the great work and innovations happening in financial education, research, and practice; this year, Kathy Sweedler, Consumer Economics Educator at University of Illinois Extension, will be awarded the "Mary Ellen Edmondson Educator of the Year Award 2019".

Each year, the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education® (AFCPE®) recognizes the outstanding accomplishments of its diverse and inclusive community of financial professionals. Award winners are peer-nominated and go through a rigorous peer-reviewed application process.

Kathy Sweedler has provided outstanding education and mentorship during her 13 years with the University of Illinois Extension as a Consumer Economics Educator. Sweedler has recently co-authored an on-line course, Financial Planning for Young Adults, as well as the curriculum All My Money: Change for the Better. Sweedler also created and manages the Financial Wellness for College Students program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, using the train-the-trainer model. Sweedler started a Money Mentor program in Champaign, Ford, and Vermillion Counties in Illinois. She currently oversees approximately 50 volunteers mentoring low to mid-income individuals. When Sweedler isn’t mentoring or working on curriculum development, you can find her leading the charge for social media education. Sweedler co-started one of the first-ever research-based educational blogs on personal finance education “Plan Well, Retire Well” which she just reached her 11th year blogging on. Sweedler also enjoys sharing education through Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, YouTube, Twitter, and Podcasts.