Delaware teacher for over 30 years, had the opportunity early in her career to study economic education for the elementary school. Working with the University of Delaware Center for Economic Education and Entrepreneurship, she helped create the Delaware Bank At School Program and other initiatives.
Ronni holds a BS in Education (University of Delaware) and an ME in Creative and Gifted Studies (Widener University). In 2000, Ronni was nominated Delaware Teacher of the Year. Additionally, she was awarded the first and only Honorary Master's Degree in Economic and Entrepreneurship Education from the University of Delaware in 2002.
Gov. Jack Markell hired her as Executive Director of the non-profit Delaware Financial Literacy Institute (DFLI) when its office opened in 2002.
DFLI is best known for its signature program The Money School, which now offers more than 700 classes and events annually across the state. Critical collaborations, including its long time partnership with the Delaware Libraries and the Delaware State Housing Authority, have been key in the growth of DFLI.
Ronni received the state and regional SBA Women in Business Champion Awards in 2009 and the Consortium of Entrepreneurship Education Leadership and Advocacy Award in 2012.
Under her leadership, DFLI has received the Bank of America Neighborhood Excellence Award, a Delaware Libraries Partnership Award, and the Institute for Financial Education's EIFLE Award in 2013 for outstanding financial education non-profit and the 2014 award for the youth programs for the Bank At School program.
From Left: Governor Markell, Ginita Wall, Candace Bahr, DFLI's Ronni Cohen, Annie Norman at the 2014 Purses Conference
The Money School has given me the financial courage to overcome some of the most difficult roadblocks I have ever encountered.
- Regina Ross, a student and volunteer
The Delaware Financial Literacy Institute is a 501 © (3) nonprofit organization that provides educational programs that help individuals, especially those of low to moderate income, acquire the skills needed for financial success.
In the late 1990's, a group called Green Purse traveled the nation presenting the Every Woman's Money Conference. This conference provided a platform for women to discuss financial education and featured top national and local financial experts.
In 1999, the former State Treasurer Jack Markell brought the Every Woman's Money Conference to Delaware. Those in attendance were so energized by the program that they urged the Treasurer to keep the financial dialogue alive, inspiring Markell to organize 12 classes for "every woman," establishing the foundation that would eventually become "Delaware's Money School."
In 2001 as Governor, Markell raised funds to create the Delaware Financial Literacy Institute, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization which houses The Money School. DFLI, as the Institute is nicknamed, opened its doors in the Claymont Community Center in June 2002. Ronni Cohen (bio), was hired as Executive Director to operate the myriad financial and entrepreneurial endeavors of DFLI.
Over the past 17 years, DFLI has become "A Community of Learners, A School Without Walls," providing a host of services to adults, women, youth and families. DFLI's signature program, The Money School, provides hundreds of students throughout the state with more than 700 free financial education classes and events held annually.
As well, thousands of K-12 students have learned how to manage their money and save with DFLI's award winning program, Bank At School. Programming such as Women Wisdom & Wealth and Money Clubs offer women a wealth of resources, special programs and events, all to help participants take charge of their money.
DFLI's The Center for Business Growth, provides small businesses with the critical entrepreneurial and financial skills necessary for business success. Launcher, our newest business initiative in partnership with West End Neighborhood House and the Claymont Community Center, is an 8 week startup series designed to help participants maximize business success by giving them the skills needed to successfully start, grow and operate a business.