As a not-for-profit financial cooperative owned by its members, State Employees’ Credit Union partners with NC schools to provide financial education for students of all ages. High school is a critical time for students to build on financial basics learned in middle school. At this age, students are interested in building a strong foundation in money management skills, as they prepare for a world after graduation.
Through any combination of branch tours, classroom presentations, resources from organizations like the National Endowment for Financial Education’s (NEFE) High School Financial Planning Program (HSFPP), as well as SECU’s Reality of Money simulation, SECU can assist teachers with no-cost tools to enhance and expand personal finance learning objectives. For instance, curriculum such as NEFE’s HSFPP provides teachers with necessary connections between existing assignments and real-world examples. This comprehensive program includes six student modules, each designed to equip high school students with the fundamental skills to prepare for financial independence and mindful money management decisions and behaviors.
Erin Riddick, a Financial Services Officer in SECU’s Gatesville branch, used NEFE’s resources when she visited Gates County High School to talk about the importance of financial wellness. Preparing students to be financially responsible adults is one of the most vital things we can do for our youth, she said “The financial choices students make when they are younger can affect them into adulthood, making life much easier or much harder.” Using NEFE’s activities and worksheets came in handy when teaching the module on borrowing. “These are the things people struggle with every day,” Riddick said.
Using examples of real-life pitfalls and the tools to combat them “gets students thinking,” she said. “You know they are engaged and paying attention because they get involved in the conversation, asking questions and giving examples from their own lives.” Personal finance during students’ formative years continues to be an important conversation as we enter April, which is National Financial Literacy Month. Contact your local branch for additional information on resources available for schools in your area.