Today we’re featuring an excerpt from Derek, a high school senior who recently earned his EVERFI – Financial Literacy certification. As Derek prepares for graduation, he shares his realization for the tremendous need to understand basic financial concepts, as well as the options available to him as he heads off to college. Congratulations to Derek for being one of our scholarship recipients! We wish you the best of luck as you enter your freshman year!
Teacher: Mrs. Halsne
School: Garner-Hayfield-Ventura High School
Sponsor: Clear Lake Bank and Trust
“Working through the EVERFI – Financial Literacy program in my senior economics class is probably the ‘lesson’ I will use more than any others from that semester. Finally, I’ve encountered material that I could readily see transferring to my life– not only in the near future as I graduate from high school, but throughout my life.
With college looming ever closer, the stress of how to pay for it is beginning to weigh heavily on me. My mom is a solo parent and will not be able to pay for my future education. Working to save money and applying for scholarships, I’m doing my best to not end up with more college debt than necessary. I have been accepted to community college and will be majoring in criminal justice and then transfer to Iowa State to earn my bachelors degree in criminology and ultimately become a state trooper. All of which will be costly. Due to this EVERFIcourse, I am more knowledgeable about the different options available when it comes to paying for college, how to fill out the FASFA, and how to search for and apply for scholarships. The part of the lesson that addressed financing and paying for college helped to set my mind somewhat at ease and realize that with the help of scholarships and loans, it will be doable.
The course’s session about the importance of saving money also reinforced my mother’s regular reminders about putting a portion of the money I earn at my part-time job away to help pay for college tuition and room and board. I also appreciated that the savings aspect of the course didn’t just stop at savings accounts and present issues; it also helped me to understand more about creating retirement savings and investing in bonds, etc. early rather than later. When I do get my job, I will know more about planning for my long-range goals.
When some friends came back from college and were talking about things the first few weeks there, they mentioned credit card companies set up around the campus and encouraging them to open accounts. The EVERFI course, along with my parents, have given me a solid footing when it comes to credit card use and how easy it can be to fall into credit card debt.
There need to be more courses in high school like the EVERFI financial literacy lessons that help us to learn how to handle all the complicated aspects of becoming adults, especially when it comes to being a financially literate adult.”
Today we’re featuring an excerpt from Grace, an elementary school student who recently earned her Vault – Understanding Money certification. Grace explains all she took away from Vault’s lessons and shares the importance of building a financial understanding, even for elementary students like her. Congratulations to Grace for being one of our scholarship recipients!
Teacher: Mr. Brian Dick
School: Happy Hollow Elementary
Sponsor: The MassMutual Foundation
“I have always wanted to make a difference in the world, and thanks to Vault, now I know how to do that. I have learned a lot over the past couple weeks, about risks and investments, borrowing and saving, jobs and taxes. This course teaches important life lessons, and because of it, I have begun saving for a new charity recently.
One of the most important things I learned about was budgeting, so you don’t owe money. You should write down all of your expenses and how much you estimate you will spend on needs in a certain amount of time, like a month. If you have money left over, you can also spend that on wants and charities, or save up for something more expensive. If you don’t spend more than you earn, you’ll have a balanced budget!
I also learned about the different kinds of risks, and insurance, and how that can help lessen the consequences. First of all, there are personal risks, which is jeopardy to yourself or your property. There are also household risks, which are risks, obviously, to your home. Things like forgetting to wear a bike helmet, leaving your phone outside, or not buckling up in a car can be personal risks, whereas household risks would be more like starting a fire or living in an area with many hurricanes.
Risks can be dangerous, ending you up in the hospital or burning down your house, but there are ways to control them. Starting that fire I mentioned in your fireplace might be a good tactic, and so would having a fire extinguisher handy. Controlled risks are okay to take; if you never took any risks you would be sitting stock-still at home. But there are also good ways to lessen the consequences, like getting health insurance to help deal with personal risks and their effects.
Another thing I learned about, that seemed really important to me, was taxes, because that’s your money, and you ought to know how much you actually spend or earn. Taxes aren’t necessarily a bad thing, because what would we do without education, police, and paved roads? You should understand that something worth $7 really costs $7.50 (at least in Indiana).
I plan to put these skills I’ve learned to use in millions of ways. I’ve begun to save for a charity based at the Indiana Women’s Prison, and budget so that I can buy something amazing when the time comes. I am saving for college, and know how to plan ahead for any risks and their consequences.
I learned so much from EVERFI’s Vault program about income, expenses, and money in general and am planning to put all of that knowledge to good use. I am ready to save for college, budget my own expenses, and control my own money after taking these courses. So I thank the EVERFI team for all that I know about finances because they really are important, even at age twelve.”
This is part one of our Financial Literacy Month K-12 feature series. Celebrate with EVERFI this Financial Literacy Month!
Today we’re featuring an excerpt from Malia, a high school student who recently earned her EVERFI – Financial Literacy for High School certification. Malia shares the importance of learning “adult concepts” for her future in real-estate, and the real world skills she’s bringing to the table as an empowered young adult. Congratulations to Malia for being one of our scholarship recipients!
Teacher: Ms. Holmes
School: Cass Technical High School
Sponsor: John Hancock
“To survive in this world, a person must know how to go about life with an idea and a will to live. Most of us will attend school seeking an education and often sacrifice a lot just to be able to receive that education. When we are young, our families and friends ask us, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ and our responses are often innocent and not given much thought as we only have so much experience. As we get older, we start to develop interests and hang around people who influence us and our decisions. These impacts can be beneficial or detrimental; we make the ultimate choice to start new habits and make a way for ourselves.
My experience as a student has been full of opportunity. My family has always worked to ensure me and others around me that I will always be prepared for the next step I take in life. Even from a young age, I was concerned about my grades and how well I function in my day-to-day. As a teenager residing in Detroit, ranked the second most dangerous city in America, I am looked at as a person with minimal opportunities. However, I have had much success with making it and taking opportunities, hopefully changing the perceptions of others not coming from where I am.
I’ve developed a profound interest in real-estate development and brokering. To get a head start in reaching my full potential, I was able to get an internship at a small real-estate firm, hired by a family friend, Ms. Rivers. There, I learned not only important careers skills but also important life skills. Skills such as learning how to greet people, dress professionally, carry myself, and even deal with rejection.
I appreciate school right now but job opportunities and programs such as EVERFI teach me skills that I wouldn’t be able to retain just from school alone. With the EVERFI program, I got a deeper understanding of what I refer to as ‘adult concepts,’ such as what types of accounts there are, what higher education options I have, how to invest wisely, and what living situations will work best for me.
If I was honored as a recipient of this scholarship, I would use this money for my higher education and to save on costs to contribute to my ultimate career goal as a broker. When I turn 18, I will be able to take a test to earn my broker license in the state of Michigan. In life, I hope to travel to other states with high property values such as New York, as well as states that have the potential to provide affordable housing for the people looking to live there. Ultimately, the EVERFI Scholarship would be a great opportunity to get my foot in the door for college and encourage me to chase after other opportunities to better myself.”
Interested in learning more about the EVERFI – Financial Literacy for High School program for your classroom?
EVERFI – Financial Literacy is an engaging, online resource that uses video, animations and interactive activities to bring complex financial concepts to life. The program features 9 self-paced lessons covering a variety of topics, including banking, financing higher education, credit scores and investing.
We are excited to share our newest insight report, Beyond the March: African American History Appreciation and Conscientious Citizenship. This report uses surveys responses from thousands of students across 27 states via EVERFI’s 306 – African American History™ course. Here are a few things that we learned from their responses:
- A majority of students (74%) said they believed learning about African American History is important. The small minority of students who don’t value African American History were less likely to report having positive role models in their lives or even positive role models in history.
- Students who value learning about African American History are more likely to want to solve problems in their community and stand up for what they think is right.
- Those students who don’t value African American History as much are less likely to engage in that same positive civic engagement behavior.
In the future, we will explore the connection between students’ African American History appreciation and how that affects the choices they make as leaders in their communities. We hope that educators will use this report to start a conversation about the role that African American History instruction plays in their school, not just in the month of February, but throughout the year.
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