Students@Work Week, held February 27th- March 2nd, provided State Employees’ Credit Union (SECU) an excellent opportunity to reach North Carolina students with financial education concepts, using fun and diverse approaches to real life.
In addition to its career presentation, SECU featured a “Students@Work Real World” activity for youth, reaching nearly 12,500 middle school students statewide during the week, surpassing last year’s number by nearly a thousand.
On March 2nd, SECU Raleigh Six Forks Road branch Vice President Stacey Waddell and staff hosted eighth grade students from Carroll Middle School for a branch tour and opportunity to experience the “Real World” activity. Also on hand to welcome the students were SECU Board of Directors Chairman McKinley Wooten and former North Carolina State Senator and previous Chairman of the State Board of Education, Howard Lee. Mr. Wooten opened the discussion by engaging the students with questions about the Credit Union. And during his conversation with students, Mr. Lee said, “When I look into your eyes, I see the future. A future governor, Mayor of Raleigh, a teacher, a scientist who discovers a cure for a disease, a great financier. Through your experience today at State Employees’ Credit Union you will learn how things work. Everything you are exposed to is relevant to you. To succeed in life, take advantage of all educational opportunities and learn as much as you can – never stop learning!”
|Pictured with Carroll Middle School students are: McKinley Wooten - SECU Board of Directors Chairman (far left), Teacher- Pam Goodman (second row left), and Howard Lee - former N.C. State Senator (back row center)|
The Credit Union’s “Students@Work Real World” exercise was a big hit with the students! The activity guided students through the steps of budgeting and making lifestyle choices based on a real life scenario, including an occupation, education level, net monthly income, and an individual or family status. Students learned about employer paycheck deductions to understand net income and are given a checkbook register to record monthly expenses such as childcare, food, utilities, and cell phone. After making decisions on housing and transportation expenses, students completed the Real World activity by choosing a CHANCE card with information to either deduct an unexpected expense or add additional income to their checkbook register. The goal of this activity was for students to have funds available at the end of the month – seeing firsthand the impact of their lifestyle choices, and to realize the importance of education in pursuing a career to sustain their lifestyle.
Carroll Middle School students Jocelyn Ash and Mariana Obando commented, “We enjoyed hearing Mr. Lee talk about how much he didn’t like math as a student, but was still able to do well. The ‘Students@Work Real World’ activity was really cool. We enjoyed the tour of the branch and getting to watch the tellers in a real situation.”
Teacher Pam Goodman added, “The Students@Work program is a wonderful way to show students the importance of staying in school. The activities in which the students participated were fun and allowed them to apply their knowledge by making wise life choices. I was very happy to have been a part of the program.”
SECU is a not-for-profit financial cooperative owned by its members. SECU has been providing the employees of the State of North Carolina and their families with consumer financial services for nearly 75 years. Currently serving over 1.7 million members, SECU provides services through 240 branch offices, nearly 1,100 ATMs, 24/7 Contact Centers and a website, www.ncsecu.org.