Learning Financial Literacy Lessons For Life

This is part five of our Financial Literacy Month K-12 feature series. Celebrate with EVERFI this Financial Literacy Month!

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!


Student: Derek
Teacher: Mrs. Halsne
School: Garner-Hayfield-Ventura High School
State: Iowa
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.”