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The Best and The Brightest of 2023



Age 16 | Junior
Gilbert High School
As more and more Americans carry debt from month to month, Damian Carrizosa sees an opportunity. Rather than steer people away from using credit, he focuses on financial literacy and teaches the importance of building credit responsibly. Inspired by his father’s mentorship, Carrizosa got involved with FICO (Fair Isaac Corporation), and he is now helping to launch the newest program in the U.S. that provides credit literacy for teenagers.

As the first Lead Student Ambassador nationwide for FICO’s Score a Better Future- Fundamentals, Carrizosa is spearheading the program’s launch in Arizona, working hard to help young people get a head start in financial literacy by mastering credit scores, credit access and utilization, as well as the pros and cons of leveraging debt. He successfully registered Carl Hayden High School in Phoenix as the first state in the nation to adopt the program and has meetings scheduled with several other superintendents to pitch the program. He also maintains a special focus on disenfranchised, low-income, and underrepresented communities.

“I like to learn about finance and numbers just kind of come to me, but I see that plenty of regions or other communities don’t have access to it,” said Carrizosa. “I think every community should have the opportunity to learn about it.”

In addition to his father, Carrizosa credits much of his success to the education and guidance he’s received from mentors in the finance and investment banking sectors. He also channels his passion for helping others into various community service projects, volunteerism, and fundraising.

“Be comfortable while being uncomfortable. You’ve got to put in work for it,” said Carrizosa. “Even just simply building a network can be showing effort. A network can open so many doors that people can’t even imagine.”

After high school, Damian hopes to study investment banking at ASU’s W.P. Carey School of Business. He plans to use his education and experience to help grow the innovative investment banking industry here in Arizona.
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