Financial literacy a new priority for graduation

Published 9:56 am Tuesday, September 26, 2023

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By Mike Barnhardt

Enterprise Record

It’s a money machine. You put a card in, and cash comes out.

The ATM , or automated teller machine, has been around for quite a while.

But to a novice, using one can be intimidating.

In comes Bentley Moody, an intern with the War Eagle Credit Union, a division of Members Credit Union that is open for students and staff at Davie County High School.

“A lot of students don’t understand how the ATM works,” he said, citing it as the most asked question by fellow students.

Jon Hamby-Lattimore is in his second year of running the credit union at the school, which is open from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. He has also helped teach what is required for the first time in North Carolina this year – financial literacy. Graduating seniors will have to pass a financial literarcy class.

“It’s important to help the students to understand finances,” Hamby-Lattimore said. “Economics, credit, checking, budgeting, we were taught this. I want these students to have a good understanding of how to take care of their personal finances so they can be more successful as an adult.

“I usually talk about credit, how to establish and keep a good credit score, and how to get a rapport with someone in a financial institution,” he said.

Students will get a test on financial reality: they will be given a set amount of wages, and a set amount of prices for things such as housing and groceries as well as entertainment options. The students quickly figure out the difference between wants and needs, Hamby-Lattimore said.

Bentley is learning more that just financial literacy in his internship. He’s learning how to deal with customers, and on a recent day was trying to drum up business via Tik Tok and Instagram.

“I’ve learned a lot of marketing skills here,” he said. “And being aware of your finances is always important, that and the marketing should help me in any job.”

Students can open checking and savings accounts at the War Eagle Credit Union. Staff members can use any service offered by the host credit union. The families of any who join become members of Members.

“We started when the school moved into this building, then we were out for two years because of Covid,” Hamby-Lattimore said. “We’ve rebranded and jumped back into things. This year, we’ve seen a lot more paricipation with people opening new accounts.”